British Gas is launching a new initiative that will help customers reduce the upfront cost of installing solar panels and other green technologies.

The programme, titled British Gas' Home Energy Plan, has been created to help combat escalating energy prices – the utility's electricity and gas prices will rise by 16% and 18% respectively in August – and draws parallels with the government's planned Green Deal.

“We know that household budgets are stretched at the moment, but rising energy prices don't have to mean higher bills,” Jon Kimber, managing director of British Gas New Energy, said.

Under the scheme, households will be able to install efficiency measures with just a small deposit or with no upfront cost at all thanks to a fixed-term loan with a fixed APR of 6.9%.

Customers will then repay the loans – over five, 10 or 15 years – through their energy bills using some of the savings they receive from the technology. The Home Energy Plan will also entitle customers to a free home survey from an energy expert.