Greg Barker tackles Green Deal ‘myths’

The Minister for Energy and Climate Change, Greg Barker, has today penned an article in the Guardian addressing a number of “myths” surrounding the Green Deal scheme. Barker notes that the Coalition’s “ambitious home improvement programme sounds too good to be true for some people, whilst others have misinterpreted existing research or just got their facts plain wrong.”

The most important facet of the Green Deal is that participants will fund home improvements at no extra cost to themselves through savings on their electricity bill, the so-called ‘golden rule’. Concerned parties have expressed that participants in the scheme won’t save any money and that the method used to calculate the savings is inaccurate.

Barker has responded to these claims by stating that people can expect to save money because the Green Deal will see two separate assessments made. The first assessment will factor in the average energy use of the home, and the second will analyse the way that occupants can use the home to maximise savings. The Minister also noted that the Green deal charge is fixed, allowing participants savings to be amplified if energy prices rise, which the Minister acknowledged, “seems likely”. Barker also defended the use of the standard assessment procedure (SAP) to survey homes and gauge potential savings. He said: “(SAP) is based on a survey of thousands of homes and is being constantly updated to take account of the latest research and experience of energy saving measures.”

The Minister also refuted claims that people will be forced to take out the Green Deal in exchange for permission to carry out home improvements, stating: “This is absolutely not true. The green deal is simply one option for funding energy efficiency measures which people may wish to consider, but no one will be compelled to take out a Green Deal plan. Further, Green Deal is not personal debt nor standard credit scored as the finance will be attached to the electricity bill of the property.”

Barker acknowledged that once the scheme goes live in October, improvements will inevitably be made to better the scheme, including, “additional incentives and appropriate penalties to keep it on track” and that DECC is working hard with all concerned parties to complete the final few details of the scheme ahead of its launch. However, Barker is adamant that the basic Green Deal framework is “rock solid” and is determined to make “the most ambitious home improvement programme since the second world war” a resounding success.

The full article can be read here.