Barker says Green Deal will take energy efficiency from ‘boring to bling’

The Climate Change and Energy Minister, Greg Barker spoke of his wish to upgrade Britain’s leaky housing stock by using the Coalition’s Green Deal to enhance properties “kerb appeal” by transforming “energy efficiency from the image of dirty, dusty loft insulation to cosy living rooms and beautiful houses. From loft to living room and boring to bling.”

During a speech to the British Property Federation, the Minister reiterated his ambitions for the Green Deal scheme, stating that it could support up to 65,000 jobs by 2015 and drive billions of pounds of investment.

As part of the “greenest Government ever” the Minister explained that the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) would inject £200 million of Government funds to kick start the Green Deal scheme to drive uptake.

Currently, 43 percent of the UK’s emissions are from its housing stock, the Minister explained that the scheme’s ambitions were not only to reduce the emissions but also to tackle energy bills. Government estimate that over 4 million homes in the UK are currently in fuel poverty, Barker explained why he believes the Green Deal is so important: “Energy efficiency is a win-win-win scenario: reduce emissions, save money and create opportunities for business.”

The Minister explained how the Green Deal will take a different approach to energy efficiency: “It places consumers at the centre of the policy.  It isn’t about stop start Government driven and owned programme of works.  It is about consumers driving demand and a competitive market responding.” 

Barker continued: “No longer will every discussion of energy efficiency require the obligatory picture of a hearty workman in a face mask cheerfully laying another roll of loft insulation in some cramped dusty loft.

“Backed with strong consumer protection, we are providing people with opportunities for investing in their home – and let’s face it, people are always looking to improve their homes, even in times of austerity.”

Barker explained how the Green Deal isn’t just beneficial to consumers but also economic growth, stating: “There is a massive new market opportunity for businesses and industry. Our estimates suggest the Green Deal could support up to 65,000 jobs by 2015. And we are talking about billions of pounds worth of investment.

“In this way, the Green Deal is as much a part of our growth agenda as it is a part of our climate change policy,” he said. “Our intention is for this to be a new, open and dynamic market that will drive innovation.”

Barker added: “To help ensure the best deal for consumers, we wanted to encourage a wide variety of different businesses – large and small – local authorities, social housing providers and third sector organisations to play a role in this new market.

“In terms of next steps, the Green Deal framework is now receiving its final touches.

“The primary legislation to make the Green Deal a reality is already on the statute books. And we are currently finalising the secondary legislation following our public consultation.

A full transcript of the Minister's speech can be found here.

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