The Green Deal. Remember that? It was launched as a Flagship Government Policy. Well, I say launched, there were no champagne bottles breaking on the side, no ticker tape parades and no big splash into the great sea of energy efficiency policies. No, it was described at the time as a ‘soft launch’.
Well, the soft launch clearly didn’t help the maiden voyage. The target of sleepless Greg to hit a number of Green Deal plans by the end of 2013 was missed. An early cash-back scheme worked for boilers and not much else and the key area to address – solid wall insulation, was left out in the cold.
So, the recent announcements about the new Green Deal Home Improvement Fund offering an incentive of up to £7600 per property, with £6000 for internal or external wall insulation are warmly (pun intended) welcomed. However, will it kick start the Green Deal so it can float proudly on its own without the need for cash-back armbands? Will the public ever embrace the idea of a loan hanging over their property and believe that a higher EPC rating will really equal a higher selling price? Time will tell. Or perhaps, in reality, a change of Government will save Time the trouble.
Just can’t help thinking that a little more confidence and promotion of the Green Deal policy at the start would have been wise. If nobody knows the boat is sailing it’s hardly likely to be laden with passengers and few will care if it returns.
Will flying a £7600 flag up the mast be the answer? Perhaps, but what happens when that is lowered? A clearer long term marketing approach on the benefits of improving the energy efficiency of our homes is required or the Flagship will fade into a Ghost Ship.