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PRE-BUDGET: Darling announces push on home insulation and turbines

Chancellor Alistair Darling has used his pre-Budget report to promise additional funding for energy efficiency measures, including residential wind turbines and home insulation, but failed to announce any new measures to improve the levels of housing construction.

Lending words of reassurance about the local housing market, he told the Commons: “The US housing market, which triggered the crisis, is stabilising. So is the housing market here.”

He then revealed he would pour some £200 million into new energy efficiency measures, including home insulation which he described as “key”.

Mr Darling said 235,000 homes had already received grants for insulation under the Warm Fronts scheme, and he said the new funds should be able to ensure a further 75,000 properties benefit.

He also said that, from April, people with home wind turbines could receive as much as £900-a-year tax-free to generate energy for the national grid.