The Government’s Green Deal Scheme, that was first launched in October 2012, and then ‘re-launched’ in January 2013, has officially been ended due to low take up of the funding on offer. Latest statistics available (up to June 2015) show that only around 15,500 households had Green Deal plans in progress, with less than 10,000 actually live, whereby all measures had been fitted.
Upon it’s launch, the Green Deal was supposed to be the government’s flagship household energy efficiency programme, offering financial incentives and cashback for people installing new boilers, insulation and double glazing amongst other things. It was hoped that the scheme would help to change Britain’s housing stock from having some of the worst insulation in Europe, as well as bringing people out of fuel poverty.
Many in the heating and building industry are not surprised that the Green Deal has been scrapped, but there is concern that nothing has yet been announced that will replace it in trying to help UK households to cut carbon emissions.
The Green Deal was seen by many as far too complicated and there was a huge question mark over why people would voluntarily pay for a home assessment, then get quotes from Green Deal-approved providers to carry out the work that was recommended in the assessment. The idea of people taking out cheap loans which would then be repaid with interest via energy bills was also deemed very unattractive and helped to explain the lack of enthusiasm.
Because of the complicated nature of the scheme, it also made marketing it to the general public a very difficult challenge. Trying to explain the whys and wherefores of the rules and trying to get across that it would have long term benefits for households and individuals made it almost impossible to capture people’s imagination with catchy soundbites and easy-to-understand advertising campaigns.
Some industry insiders feel that the Green Deal was fundamentally flawed but, with all the money and effort put in to incentivise the public and to train and authenticate installers, the scheme should have been extensively amended rather than got rid of altogether.
It’s generally felt that the intention behind the Green Deal was a good one, with it being the right thing that the government was attempting to make the UK’s housing stock more energy efficient and the public more aware of energy saving. However, the way it was implemented was all wrong and completely unattractive to the average person on the street.
The fact that nothing has been announced in it’s place is also a concern and the industry waits the government’s next announcement so that it can play its full part in improving the UK’s attitudes to energy saving and assisting in the important task of lifting people out of fuel poverty.
Article by Benjamin Clarke
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