BRE boss Peter Bonfield, who is leading a review of energy efficiency policy, says replacement schemes will ‘put the consumer first’

Heat sensitive house picture

The hard-hit energy efficiency sector faces at least a seven-month hiatus over what will replace the government’s axed Green Deal, it has emerged.

Peter Bonfield, chief executive of BRE, who is leading a review of energy efficiency policy co-commissioned by energy secretary Amber Rudd and communities secretary Greg Clark, told Building he will not publish final recommendations until next March at the earliest.

Bonfield said his remit was to devise replacement schemes that would “put the consumer first”.

He said: “What I’m looking at first is what you can do to your home to improve energy efficiency, and what technologies can you use to bring down energy bills.

“I’m going from the outside in - let’s think about the consumer first.”

He said he would also focus on skills and the supply chain, “so people can trust the people who install these measures.”

Bonfield declined to comment on the future of specific existing green policies that have not been scrapped - such as the Energy Company Obligation and Renewable Heat Incentive - saying his role was “not to critique [existing] policy”.

A Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) spokesperson confirmed the review will run until March 2016.

In the first months of the newly installed Conservative government, several sustainable policies have already been dumped or downscaled, including zero-carbon targets for homes and subsidies for certain wind and solar energy schemes.

But Bonfield said the government was committed to sustainability, saying: “[They’re] really open and serious on this, and they really care about the consumer.”

Bonfield said he hopes government-backed pilot energy efficiency schemes could be launched within “two or three months”.

He added: “If you can work out quickly what needs to be done, it’s just about getting on with it.”

Building revealed last week that the DECC is looking at ways to encourage and incentivise consumers who can afford energy efficiency products to get measures installed.

A spokesperson for the department said Bonfield had been commissioned to “look at standards, consumer protection and enforcement of energy efficiency schemes and ensure that the system properly supports and protects consumers”.

The Bonfield Review comes as construction firms take stock after the culling of several green policies.

The National Insulation Association said this week it has written a letter to energy efficiency minister Lord Bourne outlining proposals for short-term action to help firms hit by the axing of the Green Deal.

Meanwhile, the UK Green Building Council has pledged to continue to push towards the 2019 zero carbon target for non-domestic buildings (see comment, right), despite it being axed alongside the 2016 target for zero carbon homes.

Anyone interested in contributing to the Bonfield Review can contact