Friday, 18 April 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

  • MPs warn ECO will not tackle fuel poverty

    30 July 2013

    An influential committee of MPs has warned the government’s £1.3 billion-a-year energy company obligation will not succeed in tackling fuel poverty.

  • It’s not easy being green


    As chair of the environmental audit committee, Joan Walley is currently at the centre of one of the most ferocious debates in the commons. Here, the sustainability stalwart tells Jess McCabe where the coalition is going wrong

  • Sustainable Housing Awards 2013


    From the latest hybrid technology to tenant-run garden projects, this year’s Sustainable Housing Award winners demonstrate the very best in environmentally friendly approaches to building and maintaining homes and communities. Kate Youde reports

  • Landlords need cash help to install green systems

    8 August 2013

    Local authorities and housing associations should be given financial support to install renewable energy systems, the energy and climate change committee has said.


  • The rise of the bungalow


    Britain needs more bungalows, according to a new report. Here, Richard Baines examines if single-storey homes can ever be a sustainable - rather than simply popular - housing solution

  • Protecting the vulnerable


    Homeless legislation should change to reflect the truly ‘vulnerable’

  • Global reach


    Off on holiday this summer? Perhaps you’d prefer to spend a longer stint abroad? Here, Caroline Thorpe speaks to housing professionals based overseas about how their UK experience has gone down among employers on the other side of the world

  • Bailed out


    Having turned around a government contract for bail accommodation and support services, Stonham, part of Home Group, is in prime position to win offender supervision work that ministers plan to put out to tender. Alex Turner reports

  • 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