Government must clarify how retrofitting push will be funded and acredited, says Confederation of British Industry

The government must make clear how many people it expects to take up the Green Deal and how it will be financed, according to a new report by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

The energy efficiency measures need to be backed up by regulation and other incentives, such as changes to stamp duty for homes that take up the deal.

The Green Deal will give homes and businesses cash up front to improve the energy efficiency of their properties, from installing extra insulation to replacing boilers, which is then repaid from savings in energy bills.

It is expected to come into force in autumn 2012 but a host of questions remain unanswered, including who will foot the bill if a household defaults, how to stop cowboy installers, and what the eventual take up is likely to be.

Dr Neil Bentley, CBI Deputy Director-General, said: “The Green Deal is a good idea, but risks becoming a lame duck unless the government tackles the big questions of financing and uptake.

“The government faces an uphill challenge convincing home owners to sign up to the Green Deal, given that three-quarters admit they don’t consider energy efficiency when looking at a property.

“To ensure the scheme is a success, the government needs to clarify how the Green Deal will be paid for in the early stages to give investors confidence, and make it simple and hassle-free for consumers.”

The CBI’s recommendations to the department of energy and climate change include:

  •  A financial model that is attractive to private investors, with a decision by spring on where the default risk will lie, ensuring that it does not undermine the ability of smaller firms to become providers.
  • Providing robust and realistic modelling to show expected payback periods, including for different types of properties
  • A range of policies to encourage take-up of the Green Deal by the public, which could include rolling out Display Energy Certificates to commercial properties
  • Promoting the Green Deal effectively, for example, when people are buying their first home or installing a new boiler
  • Establishing a strong, recognisable Green Deal kitemark and system of accreditation to generate confidence and trust, both among potential consumers and providers

It also suggests regulation to force private landlords to improve their properties, and a change in stamp duty to encourage people to take up the Green Deal.