With talks getting underway at the UN Climate Change Commit in Copenhagen, it was timely to hear Ed Miliband – UK Energy and Climate Change Secretary – announce steps that will help householders to be more energy efficient and cut their carbon dioxide emissions too.

I am delighted that the Energy Saving Trust has been entrusted by Government to provide overall management of the  Home Energy ‘Pay As You Save’ (PAYS) pilots which will give households the opportunity to invest in energy efficiency and microgeneration technologies in their homes with no upfront cost.  Householders will then make repayments spread over a long enough period so that repayments are lower than their predicted energy bill savings, meaning financial and carbon savings are made from day one.   It will be interesting to see – in due course – whether PAYS is the catalyst that makes relatively expensive energy saving measures become a viable and mainstream option for householders across the country.

Homeowners in Birmingham, Sunderland, London Borough of Sutton and Stroud will be testing out new ways to finance whole house energy makeovers under the Government’s £4m Pay As You Save scheme.  Following an open competition, Birmingham City Council, Gentoo Sunderland, British Gas, B&Q UK and Stroud District Council have been chosen to deliver individual projects in the first ever UK trials.

A total of around 500 homes across England will take part in the trial which will provide evidence of how to foot the bill for the Great British Refurb – the Government’s plan to make the 26 million existing homes in the UK more energy efficient.