Catherine Towns agrees with Secretary of State Ed Davey MP…
Listening to Ed Davey MP speak on the Green Deal at Ecobuild on Tuesday (full speech here) I did agree with his sentiments – it will be a long term transformation.. the industry does have to work together to make it work.
If it does work – the potential, in terms of creating a market in energy efficiency jobs and opportunities, is vast (said Davey). The energy sector already accounts for 136,000 jobs, estimated to increase by 5% per year and the Government forecasts 1,000,000 separate pieces of home improvement work up for grabs by 2015 and 30,000 new jobs for the insulation sector alone.
But there certainly seems to be teething problems. The sheer lack of awareness of the scheme being one. I’ve had many a conversation with people in the industry that have conducted a ‘straw poll’ amongst their friends – the conclusion.. no-one has heard of it.
In his speech, Ed Davey talked up the £3m communications plan (er..no TV or national newspaper advertising then!) but felt that it was up to the industry itself to spread the word.
In his words, “we need you to be part of the Green Deal megaphone”. The problem is.. in order to talk it up, you need to be an advocate and there doesn’t seem to be many of those around.
At the beginning of the speech the audience of, I would suggest, 400 industry people were asked ‘who has had an assessment?’ – I was one of around 10 people who had – and from my own part I’ve yet to come across anyone else that is having an assessment done.
If there isn’t even much take up from the people ‘in the know’ then how do we ever expect the man in the street to get enthused? From Ed Davey’s reluctance to provide any figures on uptake (due to ‘legal restrictions?) one can only conclude that the man certainly isn’t enthused yet. So, I really do think it is down to the industry itself to start shouting as loud as we can – so that we truly do start to benefit.
PR Director, CIB Communications