Tories reveal partnership plan to turn homes green

A £20 billion plan for major retailers and energy firms to help people "green" their homes has been unveiled by David Cameron.

Some six million households would get access to up to £6,500 worth of energy efficiency measures under the partnership scheme, according to the Tories.

Companies such as Tesco and Marks & Spencer would lag lofts and insulate walls, then share the resulting savings in electricity bills with householders over a minimum 15-20 years.

A household where a partner organisation provided an initial investment of £1,500 for a basic package of measures could expect to see savings of £360 a year on its heating bills.

Households saving that much would need to pay £120 back towards the initial outlay, but would keep the remaining £240 a year for themselves.

Mr Cameron told the Guardian: "I want to launch this from day one of a Conservative government, with councils actually going house to house, street to street, to identify the areas, the homes and the people that would most benefit and would get on with doing most quickly."

A group of local councils and the mayor of London, Boris Johnson, have already signed up to pilot the scheme - which is designed to reduce UK carbon emissions by 30 per cent - if the Tories win the next general election.

Cameron said the idea for a "localist green revolution" was an answer to his fear that the "top down" climate change agenda was "in danger of starting to lose people".

"If the environmental agenda becomes limited to well-suited politicians stepping out of aeroplanes on to tarmacs, telling people how to live their lives and sounding like everyone else will just have to sit in a darkened room, wearing woollies with the lights turned off and the heating down, we are not going to get anywhere," he added.

"People do not like being lectured. You have to take people with you, and the way to do that is to connect individual behaviour and rewards, and help people see the advantages of going green. We have to have carrots as well as sticks."

Responding to the interview, a Labour spokesman said: "This is a green con.

"At the same time as saying they will cut the deficit, the Tories are making yet more unfunded commitments with no idea how they would find the billions their proposals would cost.

"Labour has credible, costed plans for a Great British Refurb - not unfunded, unbelievable promises."

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