The Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF) has said that the Green Deal is “simply not working for the replacement window industry” following the UK GBC (Green Building Council) conference “Towards Green Deal 2.0” last week.
At the meeting in London, attended by the GGF, it emerged that although 129,842 Green Deal Assessments have been carried out (since the scheme’s launch a year ago, to December 2013), only one window installation has taken place so far, using Green Deal finance.
Nevertheless, guest speaker at the event, Greg Barker MP, Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change, seemed pleased with the Green Deal’s progress to date, stating: “As I look back on the Green Deal’s first year, despite the critics, the programme has seen an encouraging start. The Green Deal is a world first and long term initiative, designed to upgrade the energy efficiency of Britain’s homes; the most ambitious home improvement programme since the Second World War. But it is exactly that, a home improvement programme, not just a programme to shift finance plans.”
With regard to window installations made using Energy Company Obligation (ECO) funding, 232 have been made via the Carbon Saving Target element, four have been made via the Carbon Saving Community element and one via the Affordable Warmth element of the ECO. These represent just 0.1% of the measures installed via ECO funding.
Giles Willson, GGF deputy chief executive and director of Technical Affairs, commented: “The Green Deal has failed to enthuse homeowners and has had no significant impact on the industry. The latest government statistics clearly show a very poor uptake and this is mainly because the scheme is overly complicated, unattractive and has not been promoted to homeowners effectively. To have such a low quantity of window installations under both the Green Deal and the ECO, sharply underlines why the scheme is simply not working for the replacement window industry and changes have to be made.”
At the GBC event, the GGF posed the question to Greg Barker: “With up to 20% of heat potentially escaping from inefficient windows, aren’t you concerned that only one window installation has happened under Green Deal?”
Mr Barker’s response was that as “windows are an important part of the Green Deal and energy efficiency”, he is ‘keen to listen to new ideas and suggestions to do more for windows’.
The GGF says it will continue its lobbying campaign to ‘Cut the VAT’ on energy efficient windows and home improvements, repair and maintenance work. The federation says it will also continue to ‘work closely with government officials to make the Green Deal and ECO more advantageous for GGF members and the wider glass and glazing industry’.
Greg Barker’s full speech at ‘Towards Green Deal 2.0’ and the latest Green Deal and ECO statistics are available at www.gov.uk/government/speeches/towards-green-deal