Energy efficient home improvements 'need to be monitored'

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Proposals have been put forward by the government to allow homeowners to build wind turbines on their properties without planning permission.

It is hoped that if the plans go through it will help cut carbon emissions and enable people to pay less for their gas and electricity. However concerns have been raised about people 'going overboard' by the National Home Improvement Council (NHIC).

A three month consultation will be taking place to establish people's views on the subject before any definite decisions are made.

Andrew Leech, executive director of the NHIC, said: "We need to make it easier for people to make environmental changes - but we also need to keep a little bit of control on them so they don't go overboard."

He added that homeowners might not have the knowledge of where it is best to place the turbines for maximum effect.

The new rules would apply to homeowners, businesses and developers and would also cover air source heat pumps.

Businesses are coming increasingly concerned with the amount that gas and electricity contribute to their running costs. Figures released this week by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs revealed that £6.4 billion a year could be saved if businesses were to employ simple energy efficiency measures.

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