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03.04.14

Councils offered £88m to help roll-out of ‘lacklustre’ Green Deal

The government is providing 24 local authorities across England with a share of £88m to help drive the roll out of its “lacklustre” Green Deal home energy programme on a “street-by-street” basis.

Earlier this year, a report by UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC)revealed that, so far, the uptake of the government’s flagship energy efficiency policy – now into its second year – has been lacklustre.

Although more than 100,000 assessments have been carried out, fewer than 1,500 households have signed Green Deal Plans, with under 500 homes having actually installed energy saving measures using the finance available to them.

Even Ed Davey, the energy secretary, at the recent Ecobuild conference, said take-up of Green Deal financing had been “poor” with just a few hundred homes using it. But he was confident that a million homes in England and Wales will have been insulated by April 2015 under the broader Green Deal scheme and its sister Energy Companies Obligation (ECO).

However, under the new proposals, the Department of Energy & Climate Change is trying to bolster the scheme and believes the £88m funding will help around 32,000 households install energy-efficient home improvements like solid wall insulation and hew heating systems so that they have warmer homes but, just as importantly, better control of their energy bills.

John Alker, director of policy and communications at UK-GBC, said: “This new support for the Green Deal couldn’t come at a more critical time, following last month’s disappointing statistics on uptake, and will undoubtedly help area-based delivery of the scheme. Local authorities are a trusted voice and crucial to getting the message out about energy efficiency.

“However, government could go further by stepping in to lower interest rates – helping local authorities to make the Green Deal a more attractive proposition for the consumer – or by introducing long-term structural incentives, such as variable rates of Stamp Duty.”

Minister for energy Greg Barker added that properties across the country are leaking hundreds of pounds every year through faulty boilers, draughty windows and insufficient insulation.

“By installing energy saving improvements we can help thousands of hard pressed consumers save energy and lower their bills,” he said. “This is why we’ve quadrupled the Green Deal Communities funding, so that local authorities can help many more people benefit from these improvements.”

The 24 councils to be offered a share of £88m from the government under the Green Deal Communities scheme are:

  • East Hampshire District Council
  • Dartford Borough Council
  • Leeds City Council
  • Bristol City Council
  • Nottingham City Council
  • Broadland District Council (S. Norfolk & Norwich City Council)
  • London Borough of Hillingdon
  • Telford & Wrekin Council
  • Worcestershire County Council
  • London Borough of Lewisham
  • Surrey Coalition
  • Plymouth City Council
  • South Buckinghamshire District Council
  • Manchester (Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council)
  • Ashfield District Council
  • Suffolk County Council
  • Cambridge City Council
  • Peterborough
  • London Borough of Haringey
  • Bracknell Forest
  • Eastleigh Borough Council
  • Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council
  • London Borough of Harrow
  • Bath & North East Somerset Council

The types of projects the money will fund include:

  • Proposals to deliver solid wall insulation to private households with a strong blend of Green Deal finance/ECO subsidy
  • A comprehensive offer to as many households as possible: some households in a street may fund measures by blending Green Deal finance and ECO, some may choose to self-fund measures, while others may be eligible for 100% ECO subsidy
  • Creative approaches e.g. local incentives, working with local community partners, or refunding Green Deal assessments where a household installs measures using Green Deal financing or self-financeshow homes to launch activity in an area
  • Proposals that deliver long-term public value e.g. plans/templates for how to retrofit local home types

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@publicsectorexecutive.com

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