Green deal is no deal
By cutting funding for the flagship Green Deal scheme the UK government has shocked manufacturers and left suppliers reeling but why is such an innovative scheme ending and where does the industry go from here?
In the weeks since the end of July, when the government announced they would no longer support or fund the scheme, the green building industry has started to apportion blame and come to terms with the implications.
Too bureaucratic & too few contractors
Everyone seems to agree that the scheme was too complicated and bureaucratic. This certainly contributed towards the low take-up but other factors have been implicated too.
Throughout the life of the scheme there were always complaints that there were too few Green Deal approved contractors and these were poorly distributed across the country. There was also confusion that continued until the very end of the scheme as to who would remain liable for the Green Deal loans and how quickly the loans would be repaid.
Ultimately the failure of the Green Deal is a big disappointment to everyone but there were some good ideas in the scheme and there is still a need for the kind of bold positive vision that the Green Deal offered. There is certain to be a clamour from industry and homeowners alike for the government to deliver a successor scheme that addresses the failings of the Green Deal.
Still a green future
It should also be noted that, despite the tone of some of the coverage, the Green Deal was never the only incentive scheme for homeowners to implement new energy efficiency measures. The Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) deals exclusively with renewable energy systems (including solar thermal) and has been far more successful than the Green Deal.
I’ve written about the Microgeneration Certification Scheme at length in the past. It’s a great scheme that’s simpler in execution than the Green Deal ever was. More importantly the MCS is completely unaffected by the axing of the Green Deal so homeowners looking to make an energy efficiency investment in the near future should investigate MCS eligible microgeneration systems to see if these might offer the best possible returns.