So, 6 days ago this new and much-beloved Tory government decided to remove a system that has helped many break the cycle of fuel poverty and that many small businesses have built up around.
The Green Deal has most certainly had it’s problems but as those involved in the Green Deal, we have worked with those and made sure that awareness is as high as possible for our clients. Below are the main issues that arise from suddenly removing such a key mechanism:
Those that benefited directly
The Green Deal has been in place since 2012 and although a rocky start has been helping those who wish to make energy efficiency improvements to their homes. I started conducting Green Deal assessments near the start of this year, whilst the GD Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) was in full swing. Many of the properties I assessed were rental properties in low income areas; yes, the money went towards a landlord with rather a number of properties, but it will have improved the comfort levels and fuel bills of the tenants, so excellent!
Those invested in the system
Here I am referring to Assessors (such as myself), GDAOs, Installers and smaller Providers. Despite what the mainstream press often claims, it isn’t particularly easy or cheap to gain Green Deal Approved status and for some of us it is rather a large risk each year. The bureaucracy is heavy, the fees high, and most poignantly right now, it is hinged on the whim of an unethical government.
I have worked with installers who have lost 90% of their clients to the big energy providers as soon as the Green Deal Finance (GDF) that they were relying on to top up ECO2 was removed overnight with no warning. The assessments required for GDF disappeared off the books overnight.
The wider world
Okay, I sound like a raving hippie right now, but the UK has the oldest housing stock in the world and GD was going some way to making up for the energy inefficiencies of old properties.
Quite simply, if we still have old, leaky, inefficient buildings then the energy used to heat those buildings will be high and the associated environmental damage higher than if we had improved the buildings. Our CO2 emissions stay high, the planet warms, everyone suffers….. We’ve all heard it before, but it is exactly what the GD was trying to combat, and now it’s gone without any replacement in place.
This change has come in over night without a single bit of consultation with those most affected;
It has come in without making sure that a suitable alternative is in place;
But why am I surprised? Why would a government who only 24% of the voting-age population voted for have any thought for those members of it’s country?