Build Magazine July 2015

Build Magazine 39 UK Government pulls funding on Green Deal following low take up potentially reducing the number of homeowners who will use energy efficiency schemes to improve their household energy levels. This news comes just days after the Government also announced a review of all renewable energy subsidies. Low industry standards were also cited as a key factor in the decision to retract the funding, which could potentially cause serious problems in the sector. Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd made the announcements. On the subject of the Green Deal, Rudd made it clear that any future schemes would have to provide better value for money, support the goal of insulating a million more homes over the next five years and aid the Government’s commit- ment to tackling fuel poverty. The Green Deal scheme, was set up to fund the Green Deal Finance Company which offered grants to homeowners to help them fund projects such as insula- tion, solid wall, cavity wall or loft insulation, heating, draught-proofing, double glazing and renewable energy generation, such solar panels or heat pumps to improve the energy efficiency of their property. This decision will not affect existing Green Deal Finance Plans or existing Green Deal Home Improvement Fund applications and vouchers. Rudd commented on the retraction of funding, indicating that the project was not financially viable. “We are on the side of hardworking fam- ilies and businesses – which is why we cannot continue to fund the Green Deal. It’s now time for the building industry and consumer groups to work with us to make new policy and build a system that works. Together we can achieve this Government’s ambition to make homes warmer and drive down bills for 1 million more homes by 2020 – and to do so at the best value for money for taxpayers.” This announcement comes as part of Government’s wider review of energy policies. The Energy and Climate Change Secretary has confirmed that her first priority is to get spending under control, which involves a review of energy subsidies across the board. Although the announcements on this made it clear that they were on the side of taxpayers and the customers, they indicated that the subsidies were not being utilised effectively, with the Government de- scribing the review as “measures to deal with a projected over-allocation of renewable energy subsidies”. Financial support for renewable technologies primarily comes in the form of subsidies which are paid for via energy bills. The total amount of subsidies available is capped via a mechanism called the Levy Control Framework (LCF). The measures being introduced to cut down on the amount of over- used subsidies includes removing the guaranteed level of subsidy for Energy Deficient Eco Building