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New start date for Green Deal

Energy Secretary Ed Davy announced in September that despite original plans for the government’s Green Deal to be launched in last month, the energy scheme will not now get off the starting blocks until January 2013.

Although the legal framework for the new scheme is now in place, the ‘big six’ energy firms could not finalise the payment mechanism for the Green Deal in time to meet the government’s October deadline. According to a recent report in Building: “finance plans can only be signed from 28 January next year...” and “under the Green Deal legislation you have to enter the plan before the work is done.” This means that although homeowners can have their homes assessed for energy efficiency improvements, the work cannot be carried out until the New Year, said Building.

This is bad news for contractors working in the energy efficiency and building improvement sector, who were hoping that the Green Deal would boost workload in the final quarter of 2012. Now any work that comes out of the scheme has been delayed with Andrew Warren, director of the Association for the Conservation of Energy saying that he did not expect the scheme to be up and running fully until next autumn.

The Green Deal was announced by the coalition government in 2010 as a ‘pay as you save’ initiative designed to help householders and businesses increase the energy efficiency of their properties.The aim is to provide premises across the public, commercial and residential sector with energy efficiency installations which will be paid for by the savings made in utility bill, while meeting the UK’s carbon emissions budget stipulated by the 2008 Climate Act.

The scheme was designed to let property owners pay for some or all of the improvements over time via electricity bills. Nationwide participation in the Green Deal was predicted to provide a huge boost to the British economy, providing hundreds of thousands of jobs across a rapidly expanding energy sector.

For more on the Green Deal, contact Robert Burke, director at Watts Group PLC, on 020 7280 8138 or go to www.decc.gov.uk

The Watts Bulletin is the technical companion to the Watts Pocket Handbook, the essential guide to property and construction, as used by professionals since 1983.

Watts Bulletin editor: Trevor Rushton.