The Green Deal has been given a lukewarm verdict, scoring just two out of five in a one-year anniversary ‘report card’ from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), which says the government must try harder to broaden the appeal of its flagship energy efficiency policy.
Brian Berry, FMB chief executive, said: “It’s clear that the Green Deal simply has not achieved the desired results in its first full year, with the majority of SME installers and home owners failing to engage, and the financial package underpinning the scheme proving unattractive to most consumers. Our report card shows that the main problem the Green Deal faces is that consumers are not interested because of the limited appeal of the financial incentives currently being offered. This in turn means that most small local builders are reluctant to spend their time and money becoming certified Green Deal installers, when the potential customer base is really still in its infancy.”
Berry continued: “As a financial package, the Green Deal just doesn’t stack up. There are many attractive high street alternatives out there, with loans and credit cards generally available at more competitive rates to fund both the lower and higher value types of eligible energy efficiency project. Other government incentives such as the recently announced reduction in stamp duty for those taking up the Green Deal are also not inclusive. The pot of money is too small and, worse still, this incentive will only apply to people who are buying or selling their home.”
Berry concluded: “The government needs to accept that the Green Deal’s first year has been underwhelming at best. The single most effective measure to kick-start demand would be to reduce the rate of VAT from 20% to 5% on all domestic repair and maintenance work, including energy efficiency improvements. This would be a real incentive to home owners across the board to think about getting a professional tradesperson in to quote on a variety of repair and maintenance projects.”