Revamping the Green Deal: putting consumers at the heart of a new home improvement programme
The Green Deal was launched in 2013 as the Government’s flagship energy efficiency programme, with an aim to deliver energy efficiency improvements to “millions of households and businesses”, in order to tackle both greenhouse gas emissions and energy costs. Lord Barker, the scheme’s architect, once described it as “the biggest home-improvement programme since the Second World War.” However, the scheme failed to live up to these very high expectations, providing 16,000 loans worth a total of £50 million in its first two years of operation, and the Government withdrew its support for the scheme in 2015.
The case for improving energy efficiency remains very strong. As discussed in our report, The Customer is Always Right, improving energy efficiency is amongst the cheapest ways to decarbonise our energy system. Our report, Too Hot to Handle?, argues that in order to decarbonise heating, it is essential that we first improve the thermal efficiency of our buildings and heating systems. Improving energy efficiency also helps to reduce energy bills: analysis suggests that a more ambitious approach to household energy efficiency could lead to a saving of £9 billion per annum on household energy bills. It is also the most effective way to tackle fuel poverty and the adverse health effects of living in cold homes, as discussed in our report, Warmer Homes.
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