A consultation on the Green Deal, which will provide home energy-saving upgrades to householders at no upfront cost, was published today as part of the Energy and Climate Change Secretary’s Annual Energy Statement to parliament.

The Green Deal scheme is expected to provide £14 billion worth of investment and is designed to kick-start home energy improvements in order to help insulate Britain’s homes. The measure is intended to help reduce emissions from Britain’s housing stock which currently accounts for 43 percent of Britain’s total emissions.

Chris Huhne, Energy and Climate Change Secretary, said: “The Green Deal is also a massive business opportunity for firms up and down Britain, helping to power the economy and creating jobs.

“From one-man bands and local authorities, to the big supermarkets and DIY stores, we want as many providers getting involved as possible because that’s what will give consumers the best deal.”

Ernst & Young estimates that the market for the Green Deal could be worth £800 million a year by 2020 and that it has the potential to support 65,000 insulation and construction jobs by 2015.

The scheme allows businesses and consumers to install energy-saving measures which will be covered by a loan at no upfront cost. The loan is then repaid through surcharges on the property’s energy bill. However, the level of repayment must be smaller than the savings realised by the energy-saving measurements; thus the improvements will pay for themselves.

Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary Caroline Flint responded by accusing Huhne of undermining investor confidence in green measures, illustrated by the fast-track FiT reviews that have rocked the solar industry.

During the Commons debate yesterday, Greg Barker, the Minister for Energy and Climate Change, stated that: “The launch of the green deal will bring solar into the mainstream.”

Full details of the consultation on the Green Deal are available to view on the Department of Energy and Climate Change website.