May 2012: Do you want the Green Deal to ahead? Answer with a simple yes or no. Correct. That wasn’t hard, was it?
We were at Greenbuild Expo and it is quite clear that some companies are determined to make the Green Deal work. And guess what? They don’t expect things to be handed to them on a plate. They’re companies like Mark Group and others who are:
• Running trials to understand how householders respond to different offers
• Asking householders what they think at every stage of major work
• Pro-actively engaging with industry bodies and the Government
• Investing in training their employees in readiness for the Green Deal
• Actually selling the benefits of a particular energy saving measure to householders
Unfortunately, too many in the industry have become addicted to schemes like CERT allowing them to deliver energy-saving measures for nothing or nearly nothing. Householders have also got used to getting insulation and other measures for nothing.
Yep – getting people to actually pay will be more difficult than giving your products away for free. It will sort the companies that actually listen to their customers from those out to make a quick buck.
And the government is getting the message, they announced this week:
• An extra £200 million in funding to encourage multiple property projects
• In a housing association it really does not make sense to survey dozens or even hundreds of identical properties
But there is a lack conviction. Take, for instance, the Daily Mail’s squeal of complaint that resulted in consequential improvements – dubbed the “conservatory tax” by the media – being dropped. This was, to say the least, unfortunate, especially as the Mail forgot to mention that:
• It wouldn’t apply to a typical ‘normal’ sized conservatory
• Those spending £10k on an extension would have to get a Green Deal for £200 loft insulation – would this really stop an extension?
• This would have kick started the Green Deal as there are around 200,000 extensions per year that would be covered.
The Green Deal was always going to be a carrot and stick scheme to ensure take-up. We’d argue that if the stick is wholly removed from the equation, then the Deal just won’t get going fast enough.