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Energy secretary responds to Green Deal criticism

Energy secretary Ed Davey has told H&V News the government is “holding back” on publicity for the Green Deal.

Mr Davey said the government was focusing on creating a sustainable Green Deal market, rather than boosting awareness before industry is ready to meet demand.

He said: “[Awareness of the Green Deal] was always going to be relatively low to begin with, and we’ve actually held back with some of our advertising spend because the real challenge is building up demand as you build up the supply chain.”

A lack of public awareness has been a focal point for criticism of the government’s flagship programme, which aims to retrofit 14 million homes by offsetting installation costs against future energy bill savings.

A recent poll found that 98 per cent of Britons did not fully understand the Green Deal, with 62 per cent saying they had never heard of it.

“As that supply chain grows we want demand to go with it,” Mr Davey said.

“At the early stages of this new very exciting market we’ve got to make sure its sustainable growth.”

Mr Davey said he hopes people become more aware of the initiative, but said he wants it “to increase as demand increases”.

He also suggested he would be open to rival schemes to the Green Deal.

“What we’re about is trying to help people save money on their energy bills, to reduce carbon emissions and to create green jobs,” he said.

“I want that to happen as quickly as possible – there’ll be a whole range of different ways that this will grow, many of which we don’t even know about today.”

Mr Davey said the government intended to contest a court case brought against it by the European Commission over tax breaks for the Green Deal.

Readers' comments (1)

  • What absolute rubbish. The government have decimated the Insulation Industry which was running at full steam. The Green Deal was due to be launched in October 2012 but due to delays in finance arrangements wasn't launched until 28th January 2013. As a result, the industry set to deliver Green Deal has nationally made around 50% of its staff redundant, many 1,000's of people. The supply chain was in place to cope with demand. Its not anymore. It would be worth asking Ed Davey how many Green Deal Plans have been taken up since it's launch. My understanding is it could be as low as 2 because the funding mechanism still isn't in place.

    It would appear anything the government gets involved with gets turned upside down. I'm sure many of us remember how successful nationalised industry was.

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