Thursday, 25 May 2017

Green deal to get 'soft launch' in October

The introduction of the government’s flagship energy efficiency scheme in October will be a ‘soft launch’, the climate change minister has said.

Speaking at the British Property Federation’s residential conference this morning, Greg Barker warned delegates not to expect ‘a big bang in quarter four’.

‘We want this to be a steady launch, growing in 2013, 2014 and 2015 right through to the end of the decade,’ he said. ‘This is a programme that will outlive the coalition, it will take us 20 years to do the job that needs to be done.’

The green deal will allow households to get work done to improve the energy efficiency of their home without paying upfront. The cost will be met by green deal providers, with the money recouped through payments linked to energy bill savings.

The government has already introduced legislation to enact the green deal though the Energy Act, and consulted on the make up of the scheme. However much of the detail still needs to be finalised ahead of the October launch.

Mr Barker said the green deal framework is ‘receiving its final touches’ and the government is finalising secondary legislation.

The minister also told the conference that he hoped the desire to improve the appearance of a home would act as a strong driver for the green deal, as well as the potential fuel bill savings.

‘People are always looking for ways to improve their homes, even in times of austerity,’ he said. ‘This is going to be a great way of allowing people to do that without have to face a big up front tangible sum.’

He added that communities would be ‘at the heart’ of the green deal, with support from private and social landlords.

The government is keen to find ways to roll out the green deal on a street by street basis, rather than ‘pepper potting’ improvements to individual properties.

‘Strong local partnerships will be key to rolling out the green deal at scale,’ Mr Barker said. ‘We don’t want to see pepper potting down the road, we want to see a much more coherent model of delivery.’

Susie Andrews, environmental sustainability manager at Affinity Sutton, who was also speaking at the conference, suggested social landlords could manage the introduction of green deal measures across a wide area.

‘If, and it is an if, we decide to become a green deal provider, and if we are out on estates and communities, why can’t we do that to other properties in the area, particularly owner occupiers,’ she said.

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