Energy efficiency a priority for homeowners on both sides of the Atlantic

Homeowners stateside are increasingly warming up to the benefits of energy efficient living and, as a result, more households than ever are turning over a new leaf and seeking greener lifestyles. However, green living isn't just an issue here in the United States, as a recent threat to groundbreaking legislation in the British Parliament has taken the country's lead policymaker to task should the program be scrapped.

The Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) is a program that costs British utilities roughly 1.3 billion pounds a year. The regulation forces energy firms to fund energy efficient improvements for low-income households that otherwise wouldn't be able to benefit from the savings of a green lifestyle.

A group of more than 40 companies, along with Liberal Democrats in Parliament, including former energy secretary Chris Huhne, drafted a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron in which they threaten to withdraw support for the politician if he scraps the ECO program. 

According to a copy of the document obtained by British news source The Guardian, organizations including the Federation of Master Builders and the National Energy Foundation – two of the UK's largest trade organizations – believe that repealing ECO "would have the perverse effect of increasing energy bills for [low-income households], with severe consequences for jobs in what should be a growth sector of the economy"."

The funds from ECO go to allowing low-income residents to borrow loans from the government. In order to make home modifications that will reduce their long-term energy use. After a period, households that partake in the program will be able to not only repay the loans but also enjoy savings for years to come.

If you want help for living green stateside, have a home inspection contractor come to your property and evaluate what changes you can make to lower your energy expenses.