Consequential improvements were only one of many Green Deal incentives, says energy secretary

Energy secretary Ed Davey has played down fears that the prime minister’s move to block the so-called “conservatory tax” has undermined the Green Deal.

The proposed changes to Part L of the Building Regulations would have made it compulsory for home owners to upgrade the energy efficiency of their homes when building extensions and were trumpeted by the government as a boost to the Green Deal when they were put out to consultation in January.

However, a media backlash, led by the Daily Mail, led to David Cameron intervening to block the “consequential improvements” requirements last month.

Following the intervention, some firms said they were reconsidering their level of involvement in the early months of the Green Deal because a big stimulus to the scheme had been removed.

But speaking to Building last week, Davey played down the significance of consequential improvements. He said: “It’s one of a whole range of different things which assist the Green Deal, but it’s only one. We have a whole long list of other things which we will do to support the Green Deal.”

He repeated that £200m had been set aside to support the roll-out of the scheme and said the Green Deal was “in many ways unrelated” to the changes to Building Regulations and that press reports conflating the two policies were “incorrect”.

“There is a link [between consequential improvements and the Green Deal] but the point is the planning for the Green Deal and the impact assessment for the Green Deal didn’t include that measure. It has been developed without that measure,” he said.

He also sought to calm the fears of investors in government green initiatives, saying: “When we have made a commitment to a project we will always honour it in full.”