Did you know that England has a plan that will change the character of most of the building envelopes in the country?
That's right: in order to meet man-made climate change emissions targets, their building envelopes must become much more efficient and well-insulated. Going into every house from the inside is impossible so they are doing it from the outside.
Whoa - that will change the character of nearly every city, town, and hamlet. How come we haven't been discussing this monumental change?
That's what many are starting to ask:
Four out of five people have not heard of green deal, poll findsIs it poor communication, austerity, no one cares, some combination??
UK government's flagship energy efficiency programme remains largely unknown just days before its launch
Adam Vaughan guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 23 January 2013 02.00 EST
Four out of five people have not heard of the UK government's flagship programme to transform the energy efficiency of 14m homes, just days before it launches, according to a YouGov poll.
The "green deal", which starts on Monday, is designed to tackle household energy bills – which have risen sharply in recent months – and carbon emissions from homes, which are responsible for nearly one-third of the UK's emissions. It works by offering loans for works such as the installation of solid wall insulation, new boilers and draught-proofing, with the repayments theoretically being outweighed by energy bill savings. The loan is attached to the property rather than the individual.
But the YouGov poll of 5,071 UK energy customers, commissioned by comparison site uSwitch, found 81% had not heard of the green deal. The survey also raises fears that upfront "assessment fees" of £85-£150 could put people off the scheme, with 51% citing cost as the biggest obstacle to making their home more energy efficient.
Greg Barker, the climate minister, told the Guardian the findings were not surprising. "We're right at the beginning of the green deal journey, and the uSwitch report is right to identify there is relatively low consumer understanding around the green deal. It's as you'd expect, as it's yet to be rolled out. I expect that to change over the coming year."
Barker said people should not "expect a big bang". He said: "It's not going to be an overnight success, it's going to build steadily, strongly over the years." But he denied the level of ambition and rhetoric had been watered down for the scheme – which has previously been described by ministers as "a massive economic and job opportunity", the "most ambitious home improvement programme since the second world war" and offering "unprecedented choice".
"Is this transformational? Yes? Is this the biggest home improvement programme since the second world war? Yes? Is it a sea change in how we tackle energy efficiency? Yes," he said.