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HVCA disputes fuel poverty criticisms of Green Deal

The HVCA has rejected claims by Friends of the Earth that the government’s Energy Security and Green Economy Bill and Green Deal will leave millions of the UK’s poorest people out in the cold.

In its response to a government consultation on the bill, Friends of the Earth said the Green Deal favours “well-off homeowners” and will leave 4.5 million households in fuel poverty.

But the HVCA’s head of sustainability David Frise said: “The Green Deal is not solely about fuel poverty - there are other mechanisms for that such as the obligation on utilities.

“Fuel poverty is a social scandal, but Friends of the Earth is barking up the wrong tree by trying to link it to the Green Deal.”

Friends of the Earth say tenants would not be protected and would have to rely on landlords to retrofit homes accordingly.

“Friends of the Earth is also wrong about the Green Deal failing to help tenants,” said Mr Frise. “It is proposed that landlords will be mandated to carry out energy efficiency improvements under the Green Deal - and they will be fined if they don’t respond to a tenant’s request.”

Friends of the Earth calls for a more clearly defined strategy to tackle fuel poverty, such as local schemes to cut CO2 emissions from homes and transport.

“It is time to stop condemning everything that the government comes up with on this issue,” said Mr Frise. “Let’s be positive and practical by focusing on what we can achieve.

“This means going for sound, basic and cost-effective measures that work, such as boiler upgrades, improving heating controls, fitting insulation and low-energy lighting.

“All of these are good opportunities for building services contractors and will be financed through the Green Deal.”