Environment secretary proposes new ‘green homes service’ to help householders change lifestyles as part of upcoming Climate Change bill

Environment secretary Hilary Benn said the new Climate Change bill would focus on the existing housing stock in trying to reduce carbon emissions.

Speaking to the Guardian yesterday Benn said the bill would look at creating one-srtop “green homes services” for householders, that would advise on changing lifestyles and installing energy saving products and micro-renewable systems. He said: "We need ... a green homes service - someone comes and audits, someone will arrange the work to be done and there is an easy way of paying it back.”

Benn said the government needed individuals to help achieve C02 reduction targets. "Forty per cent of British emissions are down to decisions you and I make as individuals. The state needs the citizen as much as the citizen needs the state if we're going to make progress. We have got to make it a lot easier for existing housing stock to be made more energy-efficient.

Positive reaction The National Insulation Association welcomed the Climate Change Bill. Neil Marshall, chief executive of the NIA said: “We look forward to continuing working with Government to ensure every home in Britain is adequately insulated, this will significantly reduce carbon emissions. There are nearly 9 million homes with cavity walls that are not insulated and around half of the existing housing stock requires insulation to reach a thermally efficient standard. The insulation industry has the expertise, technology and capacity to meet the requirements for treating these homes.”

Marshall called for measures to encourage energy efficient homes such as green mortgages, council tax rebates and grants.