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What a bloody shambles

a tale told by an idiot,
full of sound & fury, signifying nothing

Holy crap. Could this shower that we voted in get any worse?

When I use the word shambles I’m talking not just about the Green Deal so far but also the complete bunch of numpties (not the word I originally used but you can probably insert your own here) who are mis-managing its implementation so spectacularly.

Let’s just get a few facts straight at the start. The number of homes that need to be improved in terms of energy efficiency and insulation = 26million. The date that the Green Deal began touting for assessments ready for the finance to kick in at the end of January = October 1.

According to today’s Telegraph (Saturday Nov 17), the number of households that have had their homes assessed for Green Deal work = 0.

Zero. Zip. Nada. Nothing. Zilch.

According to Greg Barker MP (aka chief Green Deal numpty) there haven’t actually been any assessments logged onto the register, although he seems to think that appointments have been made.

The surprising thing about this will be if anyone at all – apart from maybe the chief Green Deal numpty – is actually surprised about it.

The industry has been saying – nay, shouting from the rooftops – that the scheme is overly complicated and under-marketed. The £125m ‘cashback’ scheme for up to £1,000 to ‘early adopters’ is all very well and good, but precious few people know about it. I only know about it because I got a press-release.

You can send out as many releases to industry journalists as you like, but unless you have a mechanism for getting that info out into the marketplace to the householder, you’re wasting your time.

The telephone cold-callers aren’t helping matters either, rather I fear they are muddying the waters and turning people off the whole idea of home improvements as being just another scam.

The insulation industry has been campaigning for a transition period from the existing CERT scheme on the grounds that if you just stop then thousands of jobs will be lost in that industry. But they aren’t the only ones who should be worried about this.

It’s not just households that haven’t a clue about the Green Deal. The FMB says that only one of its members has signed up to be an accredited Green Deal installer. This is worrying in the extreme. It’s SME’s like the bulk of the FMB membership that make up the bulk of builders merchants’ customers.

The Government’s official register of Green Deal installers, providers and assessors – including non-FMB members – shows that just under 300 companies have signed up to be involved.

The Government is mad if it believes that 300 companies is going to make even a dent in the work that needs to be done on those 26m homes.

I still can’t help thinking that Barker was once savaged by a roll of glasswool as a child and that this is his revenge.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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