The government is poised to release details of the £125 million cash back scheme that it hopes will kick-start interest in its flagship Green Deal energy efficiency programme.
Although final details will not be announced until next week, Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said he hoped the measure would be the first step towards instituting the “sea change” he wants the Green Deal to engender in the UK’s energy efficiency standards.
The Green Deal is due to go live on 28 January, at which point homeowners and businesses will be able to sign the first contracts under the scheme.
It will enable participants to choose from a list of 45 property improvements designed to promote energy efficiency. Solar PV and thermal are both among the technologies qualifying under the Green Deal.
The government has sought to deflect concerns that there is little public interest in the Green Deal by hiring the services of leading PR agency Freud Communications to publicise the initiative. Reports at the end of last year suggested there had been limited potential customers showing an interest in having their properties assessed for possible Green Deal makeovers.
Meanwhile, the Department for Communities and Local Government has announced that it will relax planning rules to make it easier for homeowners wanting to install solid wall insulation.
Previously there had been some doubt as to whether such a change would require planning permission, as it involves altering the outside of a building.
But under the new rules, solid wall insulation will be possible without full planning permission.
How the Green Deal will work in practice is among the topics that will be explored in depth in the 2013 Solar Power UK Roadshows due to launch next month.
The series of events, entitled Restarting the Market, will examine a variety of topics, including how businesses can become accredited Green Deal installers and the commercial opportunities presented by the scheme.
Other subjects under discussion include the latest feed-in tariff rates, with briefings from key officials from the Department for Energy and Climate Change.
Barker will launch the roadshows at Sandown Park Racecourse in Surrey on 7 February.