Policy changes bring new hope to green sector


By Gary Moug at Ecobuild 2014

THERE is renewed optimism for the green construction sector after a series of announcements at Ecobuild 2014.

Ed Davey MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change launched the Government’s consultation on the future of the Energy Company Obligation.
The minister proposed a series of changes designed to reduce costs for suppliers and spoke about improvements to the controversial Green Deal finance plan.
He said, “We are looking at ways to improve the Green Deal assessment, but the good news is that we have a lot of assessments to go on. But when it comes to converting Green Deal assessments into finance plans, the story so far has been, let’s face it, disappointing.
“We are determined to take the necessary steps to overcome the barriers that people are saying they face when it comes to accessing Green Deal measures.
“It’s clear from the feedback that the information, administration and finance has been too difficult, lengthy and complicated for people to access easily.”
Mr Davey conceded the scheme started off “too clunky and too complex.” He said the assessment process needs to be improved and we need a “single route through for consumers – to get the energy efficiency advice and upgrades they want, whether it ends up being through ECO, Green Deal or self-financed – easy, simple, hassle free.”
Mr Davey also said we need a “healthy market place of companies that can make the improvements, sell the benefits to customers and be trusted to work to the required standard” and “attractive incentives and access to a finance package that makes sense for the individual.”
Also at Ecobuild, Greg Barker MP, a Minister of State at the Department of Energy & Climate Change, announced a £19 million boost for the Green Deal as it awarded funding for six community-based retrofit programmes. He also stated the Green Deal would receive a further boost, through the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive this spring.
Ecobuild, attracted almost 45,000 people to London’s ExCel.