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Government scraps Green Deal

The Government has announced it is ending funding for the Green Deal, citing low take-up and concerns about industry standards as its reasoning for the closure.

Government scraps Green Deal

There will be no further funding for the Green Deal Finance Company or further releases of the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund, the Department for Energy and Climate Change confirmed.

The scheme offers cashbacks and incentives on energy efficient products such as insulation and boilers.

The DECC said it is ceasing funding to “protect taxpayers” and added it will work with the building industry and consumer groups on a new “value-for-money approach”.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Amber Rudd, said: “We are on the side of hardworking families and businesses – which is why we cannot continue to fund the Green Deal.

“It’s now time for the building industry and consumer groups to work with us to make new policy and build a system that works.

“Together we can achieve this Government’s ambition to make homes warmer and drive down bills for 1 million more homes by 2020 – and to do so at the best value for money for taxpayers.”

Following the announcement, the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) said the industry has been thrown into confusion and voiced its concern after the Government admitted they have nothing to replace the Green Deal.

However, an independent review has been commisioned, led by BRE chief executive, Peter Bonfield, to look at standards, consumer protection and the enforcement of energy-efficiency schemes to ensure that any future arrangements provide better value-for-money for taxpayers & consumers.

BMF managing director, John Newcomb said: “There has been a huge amount of time and money invested by manufacturers, merchants and their customers to try to make the Green Deal work. We agree that in its current form it was not working. It was over-bureaucratic, the finance package was unattractive and it has been poorly implemented. However, the concept was sound and we believe the Green Deal could have been extensively overhauled rather than scrapped altogether.

“Instead yesterday’s announcement has put paid to one of the Coalition Government’s flagship policies with nothing new to replace it. Regrettably, this is another case of stop-start Whitehall policy-making that shakes business confidence and damages any industry appetite to invest in low- and zero-carbon solutions to help improve cold, draughty homes and cut rising energy bills.”

Julie Hirigoyen, chief executive of the UK Green Building Council, said the announcement will leave the energy efficiency industry “battered and bruised”.

She said: “With each passing day, this Government puts an end to another green policy. Government’s strategy on dealing with high energy bills through home energy efficiency is now dead in the water.

“While the Green Deal was by no means perfect, the principle of enabling households to install energy saving measures without paying upfront costs was sound. The irony is that the scheme was finally becoming established and the number of plans was growing.

“This is yet another announcement with no forewarning that will leave the energy efficiency industry battered and bruised.”

The decision has no impact on existing Green Deal Finance Plans or existing Green Deal Home Improvement Fund applications and vouchers.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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