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Green Deal FAQs With MP For Energy, Greg Barker

Greg Barker
The launch of the Green Deal draws closer. With legislation in place, its launch in October represents the beginning of a shift in the UK energy landscape towards energy efficiency. At a recent event the MP for Energy and Climate Change, Greg Barker fielded questions about the Green Deal. Barker said until now energy efficiency has been ‘the preserve of the Big 6’ energy companies, in the form of ‘monolithic’ programs such as CERT and CESP. (CESP: Community Energy Saving Programme; CERT : Carbon Emissions Reduction Target).
Greg Barker’s vision for the Green Deal is of a more flexible energy efficiency program able to scale up to cater for the whole country, in ‘street-by-street roll-outs’, and with a host of improvement options, rather than just the offerings of insulation associated with Cert and CESP.

Greg Barker introduces the Green Deal

About the Green Deal:
Each Green Deal will be a home improvement loan attached to the property rather than to the individual. If you move house you will leave the debt behind. You will also leave behind a property that is cosier, has improved energy efficiency, lower energy bills, and that is worth more money.

Friends of the Earth ask the first question…

Friends of the Earth (FOE) asked Greg Barker about the Climate Change Committee’s advice on carbon reduction. His response was carbon emission reforms should be in line with the UK’s carbon emissions. Well, of course they should.

Greg Barker fields a question from Friends of the Earth

10:10 ask about community groups…

10:10, the organisation aiming to cut carbon emissions 10% at a time, asked Greg about the role of community groups in the Green Deal. Continuing his response to FOE, Greg Barker’s response was that Government has cut its own emissions, did you know, by 13%, and is now chasing an ambitious new 25% target. He spoke about LEAF, the Local Energy Action Fund, available for community groups to pay for feasibility surveys and other necessary expenses that precede an application for funding. Greg Barker’s opinion is that the Green Deal will not only be good for community groups to save money with, but also to generate profit, although he didn't really explain why.

Greg Barker fields a question from 10:10

Climate Energy ask about the transition from CERT / CESP to ECO…

The third question came from Climate Energy, querying the handover from CERT and CESP and raising concern that there could be a ‘void period’ between the cooling down of the previous schemes and the warming up of the Green Deal. Greg Barker’s response was this void period has been anticipated, and that is the reason why the Green Deal is scheduled to begin in October, why CERT is ending in December, and why CESP will come to a halt in early 2013. Greg B went on to emphasise that ECO – the Energy Company Obligation – will have a wider remit than CERT and CESP and will have a big impact particularly in terms of solid wall insulation (SWI).

Greg Barker fields a question from Climate Energy

Phlorum has doubts about the payback time for solid wall insulation…

The final question came from a consultant at Phlorum who has doubts about the payback time of solid wall insulation; SWI is one of the more expensive measures to install and although effective at making a home cosier won’t necessarily reflect in a much-reduced energy bill. Greg Barker’s response was that the golden rule should cover this type of situation but that Government can’t do much about people’s behaviour: if a household insists on living at a constant temperature of 26 degrees of course their bill is likely to break the golden rule. In those situations the golden rule turns out to be more of a golden guideline. Barker reminded his audience about the £1.3b ECO subsidy for the fuel poor and for those whose homes would benefit from SWI.

Greg Barker fields a question from Phlorum

We shall see in October…

The ‘soft launch’ of the Green Deal is scheduled for October, with its full roll-out likely to happen over the course of 2013. Click here to read about the research report into the Green Deal.