Household energy efficiency grants are 'worthwhile'

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Plans to offer homes energy efficiency grants to reduce their gas and electricity bills have been welcomed by the National Home Improvement Council (NHIC).

The Conservatives have announced plans for homes to be eligible for grants towards improving the energy efficiency of their homes if they win the next general election. A total of £6,500 would be available for each home to undertake improvements such as increasing insulation and installing energy efficiency equipment.

It is hoped that the scheme will help people reduce their fuel consumption and lead to cheaper gas and electricity bills.

Andrew Leech, director at the NIHC, said: "The private householder is a bit reluctant to do anything substantial on the house so far as energy efficiency is concerned. They are more interested in modern bathrooms and modern kitchens, but they don't bear in mind the energy efficiency aspect."

He added that any incentive which makes people think about energy efficiency is "worthwhile".

However, Mr Leech raised concerns that the idea of taking out a loan, which could take 25 years to pay back from the savings made on energy bills, could put some people off.

In the pre-budget report, Alistair Darling said that an inefficient boiler could cost households £200 extra a year in fuel bills.

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