The government has published plans to move the UK onto a permanent low-carbon footing and maximise economic opportunities, growth and jobs

The UK Low Carbon Transition Plan plots out how the UK will meet the target emissions cut set out in the Budget of 34% on 1990 levels by 2020.

The plan involves setting up an Office for Renewable Energy Deployment to speed up the growth in use of renewables. Planning decisions on renewables will also be given more quickly.

People will be encouraged to make their homes greener by ‘Pay as you save’ packages that allow energy savings to pay for energy-efficiency improvements. A clean-energy cashback initiative, the Feed in Tariff scheme, will enable people and businesses to be paid for generating their own electricity from April 2010, with a similar cashback scheme for heat to be brought in in April 2011.

Measures have also been proposed to boost the offshore wind, wave and tidal energy and geothermal energy industries.

The Transition Plan aims to keep the financial impact on the consumer to a minimum, but by 2020, the impact of all climate change policies, both existing and new, will have added an additional 8% (£92) on average to today’s household bills.

The government expects that by 2020 more than 1.2 million people will be in green jobs, seven million homes will enjoy pay-as-you-save home energy makeovers, and more than 1.5 million households will be receiving support to produce their own clean energy.