The Green Deal, a government backed scheme to help householders improve the energy efficiency of their homes through loans has been receiving some bad press in the last week or so with several areas of the scheme facing criticism.
On 6th March, Building.co.uk reported that Energy Secretary Ed Davey had acknowledged during his speech at Ecobuild 2014 that the Green Deal was “clunky”, “complex” and “disappointing”. In his speech he admitted that the scheme wasn’t consumer friendly enough and that the Government will be unveiling further incentives and stripping out red tape in an attempt to improve take up rates which, to date, have been very disappointing.
The Green Deal Administration Costs Out Of Control?
Whilst it is positive news that the Government is trying to revise and improve on what has been a relatively lacklustre campaign to improve the energy efficiency of homes, the Green Deal came under fire last week from Click Green when they reported that recent official accounts from DECC show the scheme costs more to administer than has been paid out to consumers. They reported that in the last 10 months, £33.2 million has been spent on operating costs alone which includes costs for PR consultants, economic research and temporary clerical assistance. Robert Oxley, Campaign Director of the Taxpayers’ Alliance suggested the Government should be looking to axe the scheme rather than revising it.
Green Deal Finance Company Pulled Up by ASA
The final nail in the coffin came with an article from The Guardian reporting that the Green Deal Finance Company (GDFC) a government backed company that cost £244 million to set up has been accused of breaching advertising rules by the Advertising Standards Authority after making false claims that their loans are the cheapest on the market. The GDFC has stated that they expect the ruling will be overturned.
It looks from this latest news that the Green Deal really does need a shakeup, not just from the point of view of making it more attractive to consumers but also the whole management of the scheme. This kind of bad press is not going to make people considering improving the energy efficiency of their homes very enamoured with the scheme and may actually scare some off.
For more information about the latest news on the Green Deal:
Click Green reports on out of control Green Deal spending: http://www.clickgreen.org.uk/news/national-news/124287-exclusive-decc-spends-more-than-3-million-on-green-deal-admin-each-month.html
The Guardian reports how the Green Deal finance company has been repremanded by the advertising watchdog http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/mar/09/green-deal-finance-company-advertising-watchdog