Energy secretary Ed Davey has not ruled out changing elements of the Green Deal should the government’s flagship retrofit programme encounter problems
Energy secretary Ed Davey has not ruled out changing elements of the Green Deal should the government’s flagship retrofit programme encounter problems.
Speaking at Ecobuild this week, Davey said the Green Deal was a huge opportunity for the industry and would create thousands of jobs, but warned that it was a long-term programme that was “not going to happen overnight”.
However, Davey said the government was prepared to “tweak” the Green Deal, if it encountered problems. “We are not trying to pretend we have absolutely everything [on the Green Deal] right,” he said.
Bolstering the Green Deal is a key part of Building’s Green for Growth campaign.
Asked by Building if more should be done to lower the Green Deal interest rates, which have been set at around 7.8% - a figure critics have said is too high to attract take up - Davey said he would wait to see how the scheme performed.
But he added: “What I’m doing is giving a commitment that we will look at things if there are problems. And we want to work in partnership with industry. If there is anyone who is involved in the Green Deal and there are issues you are picking up on share them with us.”
“So far so good but let’s see if we need to tweak later in the programme.”
Davey said the government would publish the first official statistics on take-up of the Green Deal in the spring, with subsequent monthly and quarterly reports.
He added that the Green Deal would prove over the long-term to be “a huge boost” to the industry. “As the market takes off – so will these opportunities gradually take off. Not just in the UK – but there is an export market in energy efficiency too. I want you to be ready to take advantage,” he said.
Richard McCarthy, Capita Symonds executive director, said the government should consider using cash from the Funding for Lending scheme to try and lower the interest rate for Green Deal loans.
The Funding for Lending scheme came under fire this week after it emerged that lending from banks had fallen £2.4bn in the fourth quarter of 2012.
McCarthy said: “What about the balance of the Funding for Lending scheme? Could that balance of lending be the Green Deal finance and help bring down some of the cost of finance.
“If it could, the incentive [for the Green Deal] would increase and more people would enter the scheme.”
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