White Paper doesn’t go far enough, says Association

The ECA has welcomed the carbon reduction measures outlined yesterday in the Government's Energy White Paper, but it would like to see the measures go even further, with more incentives to encourage businesses and householders to make environmentally responsible choices.

“We would like to see the introduction of a range of green incentives,” said Paul Reeve, head of environment at the Electrical Contractors’ Association.”For example, we’d like to see an Energy Scrappage scheme, similar to the Government’s Vehicle Scrappage scheme, whereby anyone buying a ‘top energy performance’ replacement unit or white goods appliance would receive a ‘scrappage’ allowance equivalent to the prevailing rate of VAT.”

The ECA also called for an end to the confusion over the array of grant schemes currently in operation. “The consolidation of energy efficiency grants is another essential move the Government needs to make, removing the confusion and uncertainty of the current system and encouraging consumers to consider and buy green technology,” said Reeve.

He also argued for the rate at which consumers will be paid for their clean energy to be set at a high level. “We are pleased to hear feed-in tariffs will be introduced by April 2010 to encourage people to install small-scale solar and wind generation systems. In order for these to be a compelling proposition for consumers it will be essential for the Government to set the feed-in tariff sufficiently high,” he said.

The White Paper brought good news on jobs. “The Government’s Low Carbon Industrial Strategy and the creation of thousands of new jobs to implement this is welcome news for the electrical industry, which will be responsible for installing the technology which will drive this agenda.

“Electrical contractors are well placed to provide advice on technology solutions to maximise energy efficiency in businesses and homes. It is essential that our expertise is employed at the design stage to ensure these objectives are met.”