Thursday, 02 October 2014

Green bank may not fund home efficiency

The government has refused to commit to using its £3 billion green investment bank to kick-start its flagship home energy efficiency scheme.

MPs on the environmental audit committee suggested the bank could be an important source of funding for the green deal scheme, in a report on the bank published in March.

The government’s response to the report, published yesterday, states it ‘has not reached any firm conclusions on whether the GIB ought to have a role in financing the green deal’. However, it notes its primary aim is that the green deal should be a ‘private sector-led scheme’.

The bank is intended to support private investment in environmentally-friendly projects, particularly high-risk schemes that might otherwise struggle to get financial support. Business secretary Vince Cable has said this could include offshore wind, industrial energy efficiency and waste.

The environmental audit committee recommended that the government should not rule out using the bank to support the green deal. This will see households given access to free energy efficiency improvements, with the costs repaid from fuel bill savings.

The committee also said the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and Department of Energy and Climate Change should work more closely together on the role the bank could play in the green deal.

It said: ‘The government should conduct an urgent review to consider additional potential sources of finance for the green deal.’

Darren Shirley, campaign manager for sustainable homes at WWF UK, said the green investment bank should support the green deal so it can be made attractive to households. ‘We know it is going to be difficult to set the interest rates low enough on the green deal,’ he said.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

sign in register

Newsletter Sign-up

More Newsletters



  • Positive thinking

    30 October 2013

    Matthew Spencer’s career as an environmental campaigner has taken him to Central America’s cloud forests and back. Now, as director of think tank Green Alliance, it’s his job to put pressure on Westminster to make sustainable decisions. He tells Jess McCabe why, despite a tough economic climate, he is optimistic

  • DWP minister set to vote on bedroom tax bill

    5 September 2014

    A minister in the department for work and pensions could be set to vote against government policy on a bill which aims to water down the bedroom tax.

  • What's on in the housing sector this week

    2 December 2013

    A round up of what’s on in the housing sector this week – Monday 2nd to Friday 6th of December

  • Labour in power could abandon universal credit


    Policy could be dumped within months if it wins election next year

  • Chair of CLG committee 'very concerned' about help to buy

    11 March 2014

    Clive Betts said today he was ‘very concerned’ by the findings of a National Audit Office report published last week about the government’s help to buy equity loan scheme.


  • Dragons' Den for retrofit technology

    4 September 2014

    Copying the popular BBC format, Accord Group set up a Dragons’ Den of its own to find the best green technologies to test in a £3m retrofit project. Simon Brandon finds out why

  • Downsizing with the bedroom tax

    17 July 2014

    The price for underoccupying a home is high for many vulnerable people. Jess McCabe visits Stoke-on-Trent to find out how landlords are attempting to help

  • A bright idea


    Why has a Sunderland-based social landlord set up a charity providing solar powered lamps to communities in Africa? Martin Hilditch finds out

  • After a fashion


    Regenda’s community apprentice scheme gives struggling tenants just the help they need.

  • Room for dignity


    A new toolkit aims to help smaller housing associations address the needs of residents suffering from dementia. Caroline Thorpe reports

IH Subscription