Home Energy Plan designed to help consumers fight rising bills. British Gas yesterday unveiled a Green Deal-style scheme designed to help customers reduce the upfront cost of installing clean technologies such as insulation and solar panels. The new initiative, dubbed British Gas's Home Energy Plan, comes just days after the utility confirmed domestic gas and electricity prices will increase.
The scheme is broadly similar to the government's planned Green Deal, which will launch in the second half of next year, and will allow households to install efficiency measures at no upfront cost or with a small deposit.
Jon Kimber, managing director of British Gas New Energy, said the scheme was designed to help customers cope with the increasing costs of energy.
Earlier this month, the utility confirmed that customers' gas bills will rise by an average of 18 per cent and electricity bills by an average of 16 per cent from mid-August.
"We know that household budgets are stretched at the moment, but rising energy prices don't have to mean higher bills," he said in a statement.
Under the scheme, British Gas will offer a fixed-term loan agreement with a fixed APR of 6.9 per cent. Customers will then repay the loans through their energy bills using some of the savings they realise through the improvements.
They will be able to choose whether to repay the loan over five, 10 or 15-year periods in order to help ensure repayments are smaller than the savings realised.
British Gas said customers will also receive a free home survey by an energy expert, and will be able to use the loans to install a wide range of efficiency and energy generation measures, including cavity wall and loft insulation, voltage optimisation units, solar panels, and air source heat pumps.
Earlier this year, a survey by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) found that customers who installed loft and cavity wall insulation and a new energy-efficient boiler saved on average £322 each year, and saw a 44 per cent fall in their gas use between 2006 and 2010.
"Britain's housing stock is some of the most inefficient in the developed world with £1 in every £4 spent on heating our homes wasted because of poor insulation," added Kimber. "Under our offer, customers can improve their homes and save money by cutting bills – all at no upfront cost."