Energy and Climate Change Committee report calls for government rethink on ‘failing’ scheme
The Green Deal is “failing”, “flawed”, “inefficient” and has been “poorly implemented”, MPs have said in a scathing report on the government’s flagship retrofit scheme.
In a report, published today, the Energy and Climate Change Committee said the Green Deal had been a “disappointing failure” in its first 18 months and the carbon emissions savings it had delivered had been “negligible”.
The scheme, which offers consumers loans to retrofit their properties with energy saving measures, was launched in January 2013.
But take-up has been sluggish, with the most recent government figures showing that at the end of July just 1,815 Green Deal plans were completed, which means the work installed and the household paying back the cost through their energy bills.
The MPs said: “The Green Deal has failed to live up to expectations: its planning was flawed, its funding inefficiently delivered, and its implementation has been poor. These problems have all been aggravated by poor communication.”
It added: “Rather than facilitating access to energy efficiency measures and creating momentum in the market, the Green Deal has caused frustration and confusion for both consumers and businesses in the supply chain.”
The report said the benefits of the scheme’s pay-as-you-save model had been “undermined by the fact that the scheme has lacked flexibility and clarity at every stage”.
The MPs said further incentives such as stamp duty discounts or variable council tax rates, both of which have construction industry support, should be “considered” as ways to revive the scheme.
The report said: “Unless the package is made more attractive to a wider group of consumers, Green Deal finance is likely to remain unappealing to many.”
It added that the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund, which offered cash incentives to customers installing energy efficiency measures but had to close after just six weeks as all the money had been allocated, was “likely to have caused more confusion and mistrust”.
It also said the scheme suffered from a lack of awareness and efforts to promote the Green Deal needed to be a “major priority” for government.
Energy secretary Ed Davey said the government was “track” to improve the energy efficiency of one million homes by March 2015, with “over 750,000” homes improved to date.
“We share the committee’s ambition to drive a step-change in home energy efficiency – helping to cut carbon emissions and control energy bills,” he added.