A lack of details on the Green Deal, with less than a year to go until implementation, are stopping businesses planning for its introduction
Concerns that the government will miss its target October 2012 deadline for implementation of the Green Deal are growing because the government has still not put forward proposed details of the scheme with less than a year remaining.
“With each passing day our concern grows because it gives people less time to prepare,” said Paul Bogle, policy manager at the National Builders Federation.
John Tebbit, deputy chief executive at the Construction Products Association, said the situation was frustrating. “We’ve got a timetable that has an end date of October 2012. If you want to get a sensible consultation in and then alter things, any delay now will make it more difficult for consultees and the government,” he said.
The government had been expected to announce the details last week at the Energy Efficiency Partnership for Homes conference, where energy minister Greg Barker was speaking.
David Strong, consultant and chair of the Energy Efficiency Partnership for Homes said the delay was “deeply concerning”.
He said continued uncertainty about the plans was preventing potential Green Deal providers from developing businesses ready for October 2012. “Before that can start in earnest they need a clear understanding of the mechanisms on which the Green Deal will operate,” he said.
Strong said there was potential for dire consequences for the social housing sector if the deadline for the Green Deal slips.
The Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) scheme, which places a duty on energy companies to encourage the uptake of energy efficiency technologies in the poorest households, is due to come to an end in December 2012, it will be replaced with the Energy Company Obligation (ECO).
But as the ECO is designed to work in tandem with the Green Deal any delay could leave businesses supplying low income households with empty order books, Strong said.
Bogle said he was keen to see how SMEs would be able to access the deal without becoming providers and what role the green bank would play in incentivising the scheme and encouraging consumers, which he said was crucial.
Tebbit urged the government to float some of the details of the deal, if they had them, to get the process moving.
The Energy Act was first introduced into parliament in December 2010 but was only passed into law last month.
A spokesperson for the Department of Energy and Climate Change said the government still intended to have the Green Deal running by autumn 2012. She added the details of the Green Deal consultation were being finalised and would be published shortly.