Well credit where credit is due, I was delighted to help launch Defra’s new Greener Homes initiative which essentially means that people, in addition to receiving impartial advice on energy saving, now have the option from April 1st – in selected areas – to be able to receive a green health check. This essentially is a green MOT for your home and life style. It will enable ordinary people to easily access offers from Energy and Water companies for energy saving products such as cavity wall and loft insulation, water efficiency products and the like. Plus access to financial and support packages through various Government and private sector funded programmes. It will also give the Energy Saving Trust a chance to utilise the much maligned Energy Performance Certificates to help individual households connect up with grants, loans and financial packages to get work done on individual houses to improve their energy efficiency rating and longer term help to reduce maintenance and on-going costs.

This Green Homes Service will form the first genuine one-stop-shop for citizens to access advice on all matters ‘green’ – whether that is energy efficiency, renewable energy, travel, water efficiency and waste reduction. At a time when both Government and particularly Defra’s budgets are under such pressure, credit must go to Defra for holding out for this additional funding over the next three years.

Sorry if this sounds a bit like I’m being a cheer leader for Hilary Benn, but sometimes even the Government gets things right! I know that’s not a very fashionable view these days, but let’s at least give a small round of applause on this dark, grey and wet Tuesday!

You can view an excerpt from Gordon Brown’s speech yesterday on climate change below – or read about it on BBC online here.