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Spending review: homes could save £30 on energy bills
The Autumn Statement spending review took place this week, and one of the biggest changes was the announcement of 135,000 Help to Buy shared ownership properties. However, one story that didn’t get a lot of media attention was a new scheme that could see homes saving an average of £30 a year on their energy bills.
No details have been released yet about the energy saving scheme yet, but it’s expected that it will come into force in April 2017 and consumers won’t have to do anything to claim it – it will just come off bills automatically. Let’s take a look at what it’s likely to mean for you and if you’ll be able to get any funding for energy efficiency projects.
Replacement for ECO
The Government’s current green energy scheme, Energy Company Obligation (ECO), means that energy suppliers have certain targets they have to meet to improve homes’ energy efficiency. It was launched in 2013 alongside the Green Deal and has now implemented almost 1.6 million measures in home across the UK. A recent Ofcom report estimates that the work that ECO does adds an extra £40 a year onto energy bills.
ECO is due to end in March 2017 and the Government has said that it will launch a new energy efficiency scheme to replace it. There are no details about what this scheme will be called or what it will entail, so it’s likely we’ll get more information in the next Spring Budget. The new scheme will be cheaper to run than ECO and will put energy suppliers under less strict obligations, and the Treasury claims that this will save £30 a year off the average energy bill.
It’s also been reported that the new energy efficiency scheme will improve the efficiency of over 200,000 homes, and those homes could save as much as £300 off their fuel bill in a year. Homeowners are likely to be hoping that the energy efficiency scheme will come with a replacement to the Green Deal, which offered people money towards energy-saving improvements to their home, including cavity wall insulation, double glazing and floor insulation.
Savings for motorists
Motorists could also see a saving on their bills as the Chancellor announced that a plan to cut minor whiplash claims would save money for the insurance industry. The Government is looking to end compensation for those claiming for exaggerated whiplash claims, and it said that the saving to the insurance industry would be more than £1 billion.
It’s hoped that the insurance industry will pass these savings onto customers and it’s expected that motorists could save between £40 and £50 a year off their insurance bills. The rules won’t come into force until 2017 but hopefully when they do, they’ll represent a saving for motorists.