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Energy companies and B&Q in Government trial of Green Deal

The Government’s Behavioural Insights Team is to evaluate a number of trials with DIY retailer B&Q and some energy companies designed to help structure the roll-out of the Green Deal next year.

B&Q and Sutton Council will be offering a subsidised loft clearance service to test whether removing the ‘hassle’ factor of insulation motivates people to make efficiency improvements. The unwanted contents of the loft clearance will be donated to local charities. B&Q will also test the impact of offering collective purchasing discounts to households for buying energy efficient products.

  • Homebase and Carillion will team up with a local authority to test the impact of offering immediate rewards to residents for purchasing energy efficiency measures. The offer will include a one month’s council tax holiday or vouchers to spend in store.
  • First Utility/Opower will be conducting a randomised controlled trial to investigate the effect of behavioural feedback – including comparative consumption – on consumer energy use.

    Commenting on the trials, climate change minister Chris Huhne MP said: “The Green Deal’s going to be a real hit and will be a fantastic way for people to upgrade their draughty and energy wasting homes.

    “But there are currently too many barriers standing in the way of people upgrading their homes – the cost, the hassle, and the lack of trust in the people who install the kit.

    “It’s great that high street names are getting involved at this early stage to road-test these exciting ideas about how to make it easier for people to take up the Green Deal and insulate their homes from rising energy prices.”

    A new design of the front page of the Energy Performance Certificate is also announced today and will be launched from April 2012 with the information most likely to motivate an individual’s behaviour prominently displayed on the first page. The effects could be considerable: in the last 12 months nearly 1.4 million EPCs were issued.

    Communities Minister Andrew Stunell said: “Making information about the energy efficiency of homes readily available and easy to understand is a vital first step in this process, and I welcome these changes to the Energy Performance Certificate that will help motivate more people to take action and make their homes greener.”

  • About Fiona Russell-Horne

    Fiona Russell-Horne
    Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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