As the government’s consultation on its flagship Green Deal home energy efficiency scheme draws to a close, organisations are lining up to raise concerns. The UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) today issued its response to the plans warning that there is not a sound rationale for some aspects of the scheme.
Researchers Nick Eyre, Jan Rosenow, Joanne Wade and Charlie Wilson claim that key issues – such as preventing the ‘Big Six’ energy companies from dominating the market and enabling local authorities to take part in local partnerships – have not been addressed. The response also says that the government needs to clarify how the Green Deal will work with other government schemes such as the renewable heat incentive and feed-in tariffs.
Meanwhile, the think tank Green Alliance has warned that the scheme is at risk of very low take-up unless the needs of local economies and the fuel poor are taken on board. The Green Alliance says that although the scheme has the potential to spur a revolution in home energy efficiency, it is unlikely to do so.
The organisation’s report, Getting a good deal from the Green Deal: views from local communities, warns that the Deal as it stands will not help the fuel poor sufficiently and may find it hard to attract takers across the board without incentives.
There is also an imbalance in the scheme when it comes to rental properties, says the Green Alliance, with tenants being given the responsibility for initiating refurbishments rather than landlords, who actually stand to benefit more in the long term.
And the Royal Institute for British Architects (RIBA) has also raised concerns that ‘significant obstacles’ need to be resolved for the scheme to work. Those ‘obstacles’ include the thorny issue of take-up, as well as consumer protection and need to treat historic and traditional older buildings individually.