A Green Deal that could have done so much. RIP

It could have been such a good deal, but it now seems the Green Deal, the green flagship of our current government is dead.

Going back to 2011/12 – the concept of a scheme that promised to reduce fuel poverty, reduce carbon,  improve our housing stock, and create a vibrant, certified (PAS2030) market sector – Green Deal looked brilliant. It certainly put sustainability thinking on the agenda of many organisations in the construction, maintenance, services and built environment sectors.

My workshops and presentations at that time, More Than Just a Green Deal tried to widen the debate – embedding more resilient and sustainability thinking into green deal. (see related Green Deal blog posts here)

But somehow along the way Green Deal got lost, became mired in politics, in energy company greed and bureaucratic red tape. The company set up by the Government to aggregate loans for the Green Deal was bailed out recently with a multi-million-pound loan of public money.

‘In a parliamentary inquiry held in September, MPs called the Green Deal a “disappointing failure”, with flawed planning that has left consumers without promised cashback and improvement works’

And plans for non domestic Green Deals seems to have quietly fizzled away in the corner …

A recent article in the Telegraph Your Money section Householders See Red Over Green Deal catalogued problems of the scheme

The Government’s flagship energy efficiency policy has become a headache for thousands of householders left with bungled installations or waiting for promised cash back payments that fail to materialise. In some cases, the energy companies responsible for carrying out the works have left householders with botched improvement works in the rush to meet energy efficiency targets’

One of the organisations supported to attain PA2030 under the MCS scheme has had certification for the last few years, yet has never had the opportunity for any installation under the scheme, yet must undergo re-accreditation on an annual basis. In light of the effort, system development and training the organisation went through, this is now a big frustration and laughing matter, making them very suspicious of further government backed green schemes.

Consequently Green Deal is unlikely to appear on any of the main political party manifesto for the coming election – and therefore most likely to be dismantled.  But of course it should be there, we need to be addressing one of the big sustainability issues in domestic building stock.

Back in 2012 I posed the question “how did we get to 2012 and still not have a viable solution to housing building performance”? We now need to ask the question – “how did we get to 2015 and still not have a viable solution DESPITE 2 years of promises, effort and funded approaches”?

A pity, a real pity and wasted opportunity.

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