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Mixed reaction to Green consultation

The government has launched its long-awaited consultation on the Green Deal, which is due for launch in October 2012.

Last week also saw chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander announce that the Chancellor’s autumn statement would include news of a £200 million incentive boost.

Mr Alexander said George Osborne would provide further details in his statement this week.

Within the Green Deal consultation, it was announced that £150 cashback sums would be offered to homeowners who signed up to the scheme, although this would be added to the total of the loan.

While the consultation document has been welcomed by many in the industry, disappointment has been expressed over the lack of detail, mirroring criticism of other government schemes such as the Renewable Heat Incentive.

The government says that the Green Deal will deliver £14 billion of investment in home energy improvements over the next decade, providing loans to homeowners at no upfront cost.

Among those responding to the announcement, BSRIA chief executive Andrew Eastwell told H&V News that not enough research has been conducted on the issues of matching laboratory testing with on-site results.

“Given the uncertainty of outcomes, why would a householder be motivated to create a debt with no cash return?” he asked.

Mr Eastwell also expressed concerns about the SAP Q appendix and how new entrant products are included.

“The parallel operation of the ECO scheme seems to be a complexity that is simply not needed.  Be brave and include everyone into a single unitary scheme,” said Mr Eastwell.

Micropower Council chief executive Dave Sowden was most scathing: “The failure to include microgeneration in the Green Deal in any meaningful way will seriously jeopardise likely future consumer interest in energy upgrades, thereby making this policy little more than a great green gamble,” he said.

Plumb Center head of sustainability Tim Pollard was more supportive: “The new funding model represents a significant opportunity for the industry to maximise the uptake of energy efficiency measures. However, we must ensure that heating solutions and small businesses remain an integral part of the final plan.”

HVCA head of sustainability David Frise said the government needed to make the Green Deal more exciting for investors, also saying that the HVAC sector has to deliver on its promises.

“If we fail to provide clients with the promised energy savings, they will end up paying the bill for the Green Deal and that will not go down well,” he said.