Options include mass retrofitting of housing association homes and improved mortgage rates for green properties
The man leading the government’s hunt for policies to replace the Green Deal, Peter Bonfield, is exploring proposals including mass retrofitting of housing association homes and improved mortgage rates for green properties, Building can reveal.
Speaking exclusively to Building, Bonfield said early proposals included rolling out energy efficiency improvements in housing association properties and investigating how mortgage and loan rates can be linked to energy efficiency in homes, with favourable rates for higher energy performance certificate-rated homes.
The Bonfield Review, co-commissioned by energy secretary Amber Rudd and communities secretary Greg Clark in July - was launched to come up with cost-effective energy efficiency schemes to replace the scrapped Green Deal, with an emphasis on consumer-focused ideas.
The review has since gathered momentum, with over 150 business leaders from across the energy and retrofit sectors attending a DECC workshop in London this month to submit and discuss ideas.
One focus will be insulation, looking at how we can get through to people to get it installed
Bonfield has set up seven workstreams to look at various areas relating to energy efficiency: building fabric products; building services products; usage of data technology; skills and training; capacity building; finance, insurance and loans; and consumer advice and protection.
Bonfield said the building fabric products group would seek to learn lessons from the windows industry as to how to better market insulation products. He said: “One area of focus will be insulation, looking at how we can get through to people to get it installed, and then to make sure the consumer is properly looked after.
“If we look at consumer trust, windows do well. There’s good practice there. So it’s about what we can learn from that.”
In terms of skills and training, Bonfield highlighted the Gas Safe Register as a scheme that “consumers have trust in”, adding that he will be looking at setting up something similar in the energy efficiency and retrofit sectors.
Richard Twinn, policy adviser at the UK Green Building Council, said the ideas in the review would make their way into government policy: “DECC [officials] are keen to stress that the Bonfield review and its own policy review will go hand-in-hand.”