Launched last October, the Green Deal has been hitting the headlines for quite some time, but is all publicity really good publicity? There has long been much confusion expressed in our industry about whether or not windows and doors will be included, and if this will indeed be the shot in the arm our industry so needs.
More recently, it has been reported that assessments under the energy saving scheme are facing delays due to a shortage of the software required to carry out one area of the test. But what really worries me is the discovery by the online news site ClickGreen, that; far from being simply an independent initiative to help businesses and consumers alike access energy efficiency measures and cut down energy use; some of the biggest beneficiaries of the scheme are in fact the so called ‘big six’ energy companies.
That’s right, Gemserv was appointed as the ‘independent regulator’ of the scheme, and has made some £5.8 million from taxpayers from doing so. But who are some of the biggest shareholders at Gemserv? Do the names British Gas, Scottish & Southern, ScottishPower, nPower, E.ON and EDF ring any alarm bells?
With the obvious conflict of interest, it is of little surprise that these particular organisations are against much of the detail behind the Green Deal, and yet, they are happily taking taxpayers’ money to regulate it. More startling still, is the lack of transparency about their involvement with the scheme. Visit the Department for Energy and Climate Change website, any mention of British Gas, the largest shareholder of Gemserv? What about the Gemserv website itself? You’d be hard pressed to find any great detail about the shareholders behind the organisation. In fact, when the publication was brought to my attention by my peer, John Oddi, who was quoted in the ClickGreen article, it was clear that, despite several attempts to get the regulator’s side of the story before publishing, both the CEO and an official spokesperson declined to comment.
With so many uncovered stories of greed and corruption having been exposed over the years, from politicians to fat cat bankers, is this simply another way of ensuring that the people who have been making big fat bonuses out of supplying energy at often unobtainable prices to the elderly or vulnerable, now have another source in income? It seems that the homeowners and businesses who have invested so much in the scheme via their taxes may now need more help than ever. How about a cut of those bonuses ploughed straight back into the scheme? Somehow I can’t see that happening.
Managing Director, Tradelink