Green Deal becomes the latest sustainability initiative to be scrapped

23 July 2015

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd today announced that there will be no further funding to the Green Deal Finance Company.

The announcement spells the end of the Green Deal, the coalition’s flagship initiative to improve the thermal performance of the UK’s existing housing and non-residential properties which was officially launched in January 2013.

Low take-up and concerns about industry standards were among the reasons given for the scrapping of the project with Amber Rudd also confirming that the government will stop any future funding releases of the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund.

Today’s announcement is part of a wider review of energy policies, coming shortly after the government dropped long-standing plans to make all new UK homes zero-carbon. The Energy and Climate Change Secretary has noted that her first priority is to get spending under control. The government has commissioned an independent review led by Peter Bonfield to look at standards, consumer protection and enforcement of energy efficiency schemes and ensure that the system properly supports and protects consumers.

BWF Chief Executive Iain McIlwee said:

“It is no surprise to see the final nail in the coffin for the Green Deal, a classic case of good intentions bludgeoned to death by ineffective policy and implementation.  The disappointing thing is that with this, and recent announcements regarding zero carbon homes, we seem to be turning our back on the sentiment of fixing the roof when the sun is shining.  At some point in the future this environmental deficit will need to be addressed too!”

The UK's housing stock is amongst the least energy efficient in Europe, contributing to high energy bills and responsible for nearly a quarter of our annual carbon emissions. Around 70% of current building stock will still be in use in 2050, 40% of which will pre-date the introduction of Part L of the Building Regulations in 1985.

The Green deal enabled people to access up to £10,000 upfront to pay for energy efficiency measures, repaying the costs through savings on energy bills. The non-removable energy efficiency measures included both traditional measures and micro generation technologies, such as solar PV, ground and air source heat pumps, and energy efficient windows and doors. The project generated a lot of political momentum initially but ultimately struggled to make much of a dent in the hugely ambitious targets set. In terms of the timber window and door market, yearly sales on account of the Green Deal would have accounted for little more than a workshop worth of product.

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