STUDENTS on building courses at Sheffield’s Castle College were visited by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Energy Secretary Ed Davey as they launched the Green Deal home energy efficiency scheme.
The two ministers met trainees learning about home insulation.
Under the Green Deal scheme, households will be able to pay for improvements by receiving finance to be repaid in instalments from future energy bills.
Cashback worth hundreds of pounds is currently available to households as well.
Mr Clegg, Liberal Democrat MP for Sheffield Hallam, said: “The Green Deal will help thousands of homes stay warm for less.
“Those people will benefit from energy saving improvements – and their energy bills will fall.
“The UK green sector is a success story. It is the sixth largest in the world and has a crucial part to play in building a strong economy.
“The Green Deal will support thousands of jobs.”
Mr Davey said: “Millions of homes do not have full double-glazing.
“More than half do not have enough insulation or an efficient condensing boiler.
“Most do not even have proper heating controls. Homes and businesses across Britain are wasting energy and money, yet demand for energy efficiency measures remains low.
“The Green Deal charge on future electricity bills will include both the cost of the measures and the finance, and that will be less than the energy savings.
“With expensive measures such as solid wall insulation you can get extra help with the costs.”
But Luciana Berger MP, Labour’s shadow climate change minister, voiced concern households could be hit by interest rates and charges on the money they have borrowed.
She said: “To be successful, the Green Deal must be a good deal for the public, after all the whole point of the scheme is meant to be that households save money on their energy bills.”
■ Visit www.gov.uk/greendeal for information.