Giles Willson, GGF Deputy CEO and Director of Technical Affairs presented the GGF’s concerns over the Green Deal in a round table discussion at the Liberal Democrat Party Conference 2012 in Brighton on Tuesday 25th September.
The fringe event organised by Dods Green Deal Dialogue was entitled”Getting the best deal from Green Deal: How do we protect local businesses and consumers?”
* Damian Carrington, Head of Environment at The Guardian (chair)
* Giles Willson, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Director of Technical Affairs, GGF
* Paul Hicks, Design Manager at Velux
* Edward Davey MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
* Simon Wright, Liberal Democrat MP (Norwich South)
The discussion focused on how to make sure businesses and consumers benefited from the Green Deal programme and the safeguards that could be out in place to protect them.
Damian Carrington, Chairman, put it to the panel that the Green Deal Loan policy had the potential to be the “greatest transformation of our buildings and homes”in the UK’s history. But he asked how to ensure it’s success in the face of a number of challenges.
Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey said the main difficulty was in creating a new market and that “Green Deal could take years to catch on”.
Mr Davey argued that consumer confidence was critical and emphasized the inclusion of consumer protection rules such as warranties, the “golden rule” assessment process, an ombudsman and complaints and handling guidance. He denied that the interest rates of six to eight rates would be competitive.
A tricker challenge was introducing competition into a market which could be dominated by existing “big players”, he said. In particular he was keen to reduce the barriers to entry for new, smaller firms and thought local authorities and partnership between big and small companies could help.
Representing the GGF, Giles Willson outlined the “dramatic reduction” in consumer demand in the market. He was concerned that some energy efficient products with dual purposes, such as double glazing, would not be totally funded under Green Deal.
Emerging from the meeting Giles Willson Re-iterated, “There are still huge question marks over the implementation of Green Deal and ECO. Our presentation at the Conference highlighted the key issues concerning our Members and underlined the GGF’s position. We are all for making millions of properties energy efficient and it is positive that the Government are creating a scheme to try and boost the construction sector and make the plant more environmentally friendly, however we remain unconvinced the present Green Deal framework will deliver the promise and have the positive impact on the Glass and Glazing Industry as was initially expected.
The GGF will be presenting and on the panel of speakers at the Dod’s Green Deal Dialogue events at both the forthcoming Labour and Conservative Party Conferences.
To find out more on the GGF’s position and concerns in Green Deal and ECO please visit the GGF website www.ggf.org.uk/green-deal-fags