The Government has had a couple of months now to digest the hundreds of responses it received to its green deal consultation. And the green building community was out in force at Ecobuild last week to hear the minister, Greg Barker, give his standing-room-only address on the subject.
While DECC’s rhetoric has shifted slightly from the exclusive emphasis on cost savings that characterised the early pronouncements, the new line – that Green Deal ‘makeovers’ are as ‘aspirational’ as the council house right to buy programme in the 80s, does not convince everyone.
There is no denying that low energy refurbishment is well and truly on the agenda now, and many of the seminar sessions on the topic at Ecobuild were filled with delegates eager to get to grips with the topic – with or without the context of the Green Deal. There were practical insights, for example into the need for customer communication, and for some sort of standardisation of approach to reduce costs.
But behind the detail lurks an uneasy ambiguity – is the Green Deal something that people have to be assured won’t cost them a penny, but they should swallow it for everyone’s good; or is it actually something that people will want to invest in, because it great to have? A report looking at this question a bit more closely will be posted on the AECB news pages at www.aecb.net/news in the coming days.