The Government announced last week that there will be no further funding to the Green Deal Finance Company, in a move to protect taxpayers.
The announcement made by Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd, stated that Government will work with the building industry and consumer groups on a new value-for-money approach. Amber Rudd also announced that the Government will stop any future funding releases of the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund.
The Government recognises that future schemes must provide better value for money whilst supporting the goal of insulating a million more homes over the next five years to fulfil the Government’s commitment to tackle fuel poverty.
This announcement stressed that the funding decision has no impact on existing Green Deal Finance Plans or existing Green Deal Home Improvement Fund applications and vouchers.
The announcement comes as part of Government’s wider review of energy policies. The Energy and Climate Change Secretary confirmed that the first priority is to get spending under control.
Amber Rudd, Energy and Climate Change Secretary said:
“We are on the side of hardworking families and businesses – which is why we cannot continue to fund the Green Deal. It’s now time for the building industry and consumer groups to work with us to make new policy and build a system that works. Together we can achieve this Government’s ambition to make homes warmer and drive down bills for one million more homes by 2020 – and to do so at the best value for money for taxpayers.
In response to the announcement, Nigel Rees, GGF Group Chief Executive commented;
“This announcement is no surprise to the GGF. During the last Government, the GGF constantly worked with DECC (Department of Energy and Climate Change) on the development of Green Deal and ECO and consistently explained why both programmes would not work for the replacement window industry; this has been proven by the extremely low numbers of glazing measures installations, 223 under Green Deal and 972 under ECO. Combined, these figures do not even make up 0.1 per cent of the total measures installed under the schemes. The GGF now looks forward to working with the current Government to “make new policy and build a system that works” as outlined by Amber Rudd. The GGF believes it is essential to improve the energy efficiency within the existing building stock and people’s lifestyles as well as reducing carbon emissions. Moving forward, the GGF is keen to work constructively with the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and will be contacting them to discuss a new proposal from an industry perspective, offering our expertise, suggestions and solutions.”
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.
Current Government policies including the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme will continue to provide support this year to low-income and vulnerable households, reflecting the fact that ECO delivered 97% of home improvements in the last two years.
DECC also announced it will work in partnership with the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to improve the UK’s existing housing stock. The longer-term future of the Energy Company Obligation scheme will be part of these discussions around a new, better-integrated policy.