By politics.co.uk staff
Up to seven million households could benefit from 'green loans' to improve their energy efficiency, under a new government strategy.
The Department for Energy and Climate Change (Decc) is hoping to cut nearly a third of carbon emissions from British homes in the next decade.
By providing homeowners with green 'pay as you save' finance it hopes to encourage many to pay for better insulation and the installation of green technology like solar panels.
It follows a pilot scheme in which 500 homes participated in the Pay As You Save programme.
"This shows we can meet the national interest of tackling climate change and reducing our dependence on foreign energy at the same time as we help people save money," energy and climate change secretary Ed Miliband said.
"New 'pay as you save' green finance, a new alliance between energy companies and local authorities to help people in their communities, as well as moves to encourage landlords to stop ignoring energy wastage in their properties, will help deliver the radical transformation that's necessary."
The strategy aims to insulate six million homes by the end of 2011, with all practical lofts and cavity walls insulated by 2015.
Installing some technologies, such as solid wall insulation, could see energy bills cut by £380 a year, Decc claims.
"There is a lot of momentum to change and radically re-think how we track our energy use and refurbish our homes and buildings for the future," housing minister John Healey said.
"People in their own homes will get help with costs, and there will be help for private landlords and tenants, but we're also ready to regulate in the future if landlords will not do the green refurbishment needed."
Shadow energy and climate change secretary Greg Clark said the new announcements were restatements of Tory policy made one year ago, however.
"If Labour had followed our advice sooner people could be helped out of fuel poverty now. Instead under Labour's plans most householders will have to wait until 2015 before they can feel the benefits," Mr Clark commented.
"Yet again in energy policy it is the Conservatives who have come up with the practical measures to help Britain's householders, and who are showing the energy, leadership and values the country needs."