Green Deal launch attracts criticism

Published:  30 January, 2013

The launch of the Green Deal on 28 January has brought with it a host of negative publicity, as consumers assess the cost and value of signing up to long-term loans.

While the Green deal claims to offer the opportunity to make energy efficient home improvements paid for through the savings on energy bills, national press has reported this week that savings may not cover the initial costs, Green Deal loans may not be the most economical way to finance the improvements, and having a Green Deal loan on a property may make it harder to sell.

According to research carried out by electrical installation supplier, Rexel UK, 96% of Brits have never heard of or do not understand the Green Deal.

Out of 2,000 respondents, 69% said they are interested in making energy efficiency improvements to their home, but 74% wouldn’t know where to go for information if they wanted to find out more.

Around a quarter of respondents think investing in energy efficiency measures with a Green Deal loan will cost them more in the long run, and 56% said they didn’t know whether investing in energy efficiency measures with a Green Deal loan will save them money.

Kim Vernau, chief executive officer of new homes insurance provider BLP Insurance, said that while the ultimate objective of the Green Deal is laudable, there is a great sense of confusion surrounding the policy.

“The government’s omission to make further predictions on the number of households likely to benefit from the scheme, coupled with no indication of how much carbon is actually likely to be saved, has done little to stem doubts. Eric Pickles refusal to enforce any element of compulsion in terms of extensions or conversions to property, and having to spend money to improve the efficiency of the original building contributes to the confusion.

Vernau said a glimmer of hope for the scheme came on the back of its initiative to replace old boilers for the cost of between £2,000 to £3,000, with no upfront costs for the property owner. She also welcomed the £125 million put aside for the cashback scheme, which will be offered on a “first-come, first-served” basis as a reward to those householders who have work done.

However, she added: “Criticism is already rolling in for the scheme that promised so much and seems set to fall short of delivery. The Green Deal has been beset by a number of implementation difficulties, coupled with the failure of the coalition government to deliver joined-up thinking. While the British public remain keen to implement the scheme, resolving these issues is not in their hands.”

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