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Green Deal demise leaves energy efficiency vacuum, warns FMB

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has urged the Government it must set out a clear vision for what will replace the Green Deal following the decision to close funding for the scheme.

Green Deal demise leaves energy efficiency vacuum, warns FMB

The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) announced there will be no further funding for the Green Deal Finance Company or further releases of the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund.

DECC cited low take-up and concerns about industry standards as its reasoning to stop funding, adding it wanted to “protect taxpayers” and will work with the building industry and consumer groups on a new “value-for-money approach”.

Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, said the announcement to effectively close the energy household efficiency programme is the “the final nail in the Green Deal’s coffin”.

He said: “The Green Deal was the greatest flop of the last Parliament – it failed spectacularly in its mission to incentivise millions of house holders to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. However, the Government would have been wise to reform, rebrand and relaunch the Green Deal rather than scrap it altogether.”

Berry added the Government is showing “very little leadership or ambition” to improve the energy efficiency of properties.

He said: “The goal of insulating a million more homes over the next five years is a meagre target when you consider that around 5 million homes were provided with energy efficiency improvements through various schemes over the past five years. Although the Green Deal was disappointing in terms of what it achieved, it demonstrated that Government was serious about reducing the carbon emissions from our homes. As we get closer to the 2050 carbon reduction target, the Government should be increasing investment in this area but instead, Ministers have side lined energy efficiency – filing it under “too difficult and too expensive.”

Berry concluded: “The Government and industry should not be defeated by the poor results driven through the Green Deal and instead we must learn the lessons and move forward. Investing in our existing homes is the best way to drive up jobs and growth while driving down fuel poverty and carbon emissions. There are lots of measures and incentives which could kick start activity in this area – the Government should provide home owners with zero interest loans to make their properties energy efficient. This move could generate more tax revenue for the Treasury than it costs to subsidise, an approach which has worked well in Germany so why not the UK?”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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