A report published today by the All Party Group for Excellence in the Built Environment has branded the Green Deal as unattractive and over complicated.
‘Re-energising the Green Agenda’ states that despite setting out ambitious targets, the Government has been sending mixed messages about its commitment to the green agenda. This has been particularly apparent over the delay to the revisions to Part L of the Building Regulations and the slow progress on establishing how zero carbon will be met for domestic buildings in 2016. In recent years unexpected changes to the feed-in-tariffs also caused consternation and undermined confidence in the construction sector.
Improving the energy efficiency of the existing domestic stock was the main focus of the report. The report suggests that one way of helping consumers value low energy homes is to make their energy use more apparent in the sales and lettings information. When consumers buy or let properties, they should be told the revenue costs as well as capital costs in a more consumer friendly and prominent way than simply handing over the Energy Performance Certificates, as is currently required. The study also heard evidence that smart metering can assist in this process by better informing the consumer.
With regards to the Green Deal, the report argues that the scheme is unattractive and uncompetitive, it is overly complicated and it doesn’t work for social housing organisations. The report suggests that the Government review and simplify the Green Deal and to have a stronger focus on local initiatives.
CITB head of new business development Tony Howard said: “The report states that the success of the Green Deal depends on political will and strong leadership. This is a valid point, however the scheme’s success also depends on skilled installers that can sell the benefits on the ground and deliver high quality work.
“The recommendations for a stronger focus on local initiatives and a new Green Deal for Registered Social Landlords warrant serious consideration. But whatever direction the Green Deal takes, one thing will remain unchanged: the low carbon market is going from strength to strength through financial pressures on, and general will of, property owners to try and reduce their own energy consumption, and with it, commercial opportunities are set to grow. As the report highlights, low carbon building has the potential to create jobs at home and also to drive export of firms’ low carbon skills abroad. Firms without the right low carbon skills and qualifications will miss out.
CITB is working to help firms of all sizes obtain the knowledge and qualifications they need to compete for green building work – whether this be under the Green Deal and ECO, or through wider Government-led or private sector opportunities.”
The APPG report can be accessed at http://www.cic.org.uk/admin/resources/sustainable-construction-and-the-green-deal-report.pdf