Energy secretary Chris Huhne has announced a plan to create 250,000 'green' jobs, including construction of new nuclear power stations and retrofitting existing homes.
He said: "Since there is no money left, my department is pioneering new ways of turning this government into the greenest ever.
"We use more energy to heat our homes than Sweden, where it's seven degrees colder in January. We might as well be standing outside burning £50 notes. By stopping this waste, we can make big savings on bills, and use them to pay businesses for the cost of insulation.”
The 'green deal' would include the modernisation of 26 million homes to make them more energy efficient. Private companies would pay upfront to insulate the houses, with home-owners paying back from the energy savings that result.
However, Huhne was unable to make any funding announcement for the proposed green investment bank or the planned carbon capture and storage plants.
He also signalled an end to Liberal Democrat opposition to nuclear power, saying new power stations can go ahead as long as they are privately-funded.
"I'm fed up with the stand-off between renewable and nuclear which means we have neither - we will have both,” Huhne said. “We will have low-carbon energy, and security of supply."