Housing Specification Blog

Green by name, green by nature?

January 31, 2013 Alexandra Blakeman Planning & Legislation

You’d be forgiven for forgetting that Green Deal was launched on Monday.

The government’s flagship energy efficiency scheme was somewhat overshadowed by the controversial installation of the HS2 high-speed London trainline.

Are British homeowners aware of the scheme’s merits, nay its existence?

Research conducted by uSwitch suggests that just two in ten consumers have heard of the Green Deal, despite a nation-wide consensus to cut energy bills.

The initiative suffered a further blow yesterday when Green Deal Provider Npower said that interest rates charged on the scheme were too high.

Consumers will have to pay interest rates of more than 7pc on agreements funded by the Green Deal Finance Company. Npower say this rate must be lowered in order to attract cash-strapped householders to the Deal.

Commenting on the launch, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:“The Green Deal will help thousands of homes stay warm for less.”

“Those people will benefit from energy saving improvements – and their energy bills will fall.

“The UK green sector is a success story. It is the sixth largest in the world and has a crucial part to play in building a strong economy. The Green Deal will support thousands of jobs, not just over the next few years, but in the long-term.”

The government need a more effective communication policy. Suppliers and contractors who have invested in the Green Deal must feel the disappointment.

Ron Griffiths, CEO of Network Green Deal said: “People’s awareness of the Green Deal is very low, thanks to the initial campaign. It’s great that there’s a positive surge [of interest] at the moment, but the mechanisms aren’t in place to facilitate it.

“Homeowners might be interested now but the drawback is having to wait for financial backing.”

Online applications for the Green Deal cashback scheme opened earlier this month. To qualify for the offer, homeowners and landlords must set up a Green Deal assessment, agree quotes from a GD Provider, obtain vouchers and complete work within a specified time frame.

The Green Deal has the potential to see the biggest change made to British housing stock since the Second World War, but only if the most important contributors (homeowners themselves) are made aware.

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