The U.K. started a program to boost home energy efficiency, enlisting Centrica Plc (CNA), EON SE and SSE Plc (SSE) amid criticism its Green Deal will fail to lure households that risk paying more for improvements than they save on bills.

The nation’s 26.9 million homes will from today be able to pay for upgrades such as loft or wall insulation through a charge added to power bills, which should then be lower because of improved efficiency, Energy Secretary Ed Davey said.

“It has the possibility of transforming British housing stock,” more than doubling insulation industry jobs to 60,000 by 2015, and bringing billions of pounds of investment, he said at a briefing in London. Repayments shouldn’t exceed efficiency savings, he said, although the government can’t guarantee that.

The country needs to cut energy demand to meet targets to lower carbon emissions 34 percent from 1990 levels by 2020, while reducing consumer power bills as fossil-fuel costs rise. U.K. buildings are among the world’s least efficient, accounting for 38 percent of Britain’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to the country’s Department of Energy and Climate Change.

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