Government has pulled the plug on its flagship Green Deal and Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) scheme to insulate homes having stopped funding of the firm set up to issue home improvement loans, blaming its demise on low consumer take-up.
Once heralded as “transformational” and the “biggest home improvement programme since the second world war” when it first launched back in 2013, the Green Deal scheme had not proven the success ministers had hoped, with just 15,000 loans issued or in progress. It had been predicted that some 100,000 jobs could have been created within five years had the scheme taken off.
Commenting on the move, Amber Rudd, energy and climate secretary, said: “We are on the side of hardworking families 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.”
The news has riled environmentalists across the country being just one of several environmental policies being scrapped since the Conservative Party came to power in May. The Green Deal joins the ending of onshore wind farm subsidies to a curb on solar subsidies and the government’s u-turn on zero carbon homes.
Julie Hirigoyen, chief executive of the UK Green Building Council, added: “With each passing day, this government puts an end to another green policy. The government’s strategy on dealing with high energy bills through homes energy efficiency is now dead in the water.”
John Newcomb, managing director of the Builders Merchants Federation, also commented on the decision: “There has been a huge amount of time and money invested by manufacturers, merchants and their customers to try to make the Green Deal work. We agree that in its current form it was not working. It was over bureaucratic, the finance package was unattractive and it has been poorly implemented. However, the concept was sound and we believe the Green Deal could have been extensively overhauled rather than scrapped altogether.”