When the All Party Parliamentary Group gathered on Thursday (30th October), there was an air of frustration in the room. The Green Deal launch was softer than even the most pessimistic person expected, and the up take from business, particularly Big Business has been pretty poor. The proverbial “fence” is heavy with most of the nation’s interested parties sitting on it right now.
The way the invitation read, it seemed to hand “Rt Hon Gregory Barker MP, Minister of State on Green Deal progress” a new job title, although this was in reference to the message that he was going to deliver. And the delivery was very up beat, charmingly enthusiastic, and with good cause; the £125 million that DECC had secured from the Chancellor for the Green Deal early incentive payments was a significant success.
Other up beat news included that waving of fees for SME registering for the Green Deal, the CBI reporting that the “green economy” has grown by 5%, and that there are now over 1 million “green jobs” – more than the automotive and telecoms sectors combined.
There were big plugs for the Green Deal Help line and the Green Investment bank, which is going to be our saviour by providing the credit that will help to drive down the interest rates for Green Deal packages to “competitive market rates”.
Understandably the message was not quite so positive with regards to the numbers of Green Deal Providers and Assessors; 3 and 31 respectively. The figure was late raise to a hardly impressive 8 Providers when Gemserve spoke later. This is despite the £1 million given to help train up new assessors. It was stated that there were 173 installer organisations so there is some interest at this level, however it is a clear indication that no one expect the consumer up take to be anything like the rapid growth of the Solar PV market in the last few years.
As for Be Energy Smart, we will follow the Green Deal with interest and continue to help homeowners understand what can be done to reduce their bills with or without policy like this. We are always looking for professional and accredited installation partners to work with. If you are interested in hearing more please register as an installer here.