David Cameron’s efforts to save the Green Deal will be crucial according to the Green Deal Dialogue Group. Research conducted on behalf of group members Velux Land Securities and the Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF) by Dods found that less than half of MPs (49%) will promote uptake of the Green Deal in their constituencies when it launches in October, despite many more acknowledging the benefits of the scheme for communities.
The survey of 100 MPs* found that more than a fifth (21%) were unlikely to promote the scheme, 20% said they were neither likely nor unlikely to champion it while 11% were still unsure.
The results reveal a lack of familiarity among MPs with the Government’s flagship green policy. Only 59% said they understood the concept behind the Green Deal while 21% admitted they did not. This figure increased to 35% for those MPs that did not know how the scheme would be paid for with only 30% saying they had grasped its funding structure.
Unemployment and rising energy bills were deemed by MPs to be of greatest concern to their constituents and the majority of those surveyed believes that the Green Deal has the potential to generate jobs and cut homeowner energy bills.
Two thirds (66%) said the scheme is likely to boost local business opportunities, 52% said it will create jobs and training opportunities for the unemployed and 38% said it will help regenerate areas and communities. Although 59% believe the Green Deal will help homeowners save money, only 40% said it will do the same for businesses, highlighting the need for more work to be done to promote the scheme’s use for commercial buildings.
The Green Deal Dialogue Group findings follow in the footsteps of research conducted by the Government that suggests scheme take up will be low, with popular energy efficiency measures such as loft and cavity wall insulation falling instead of increasing when it launches and replaces existing schemes.
Keith Riddle, Manager Director of Velux, comments:
“With the Government working hard to rescue its floundering flagship green policy our research reveals that MPs could prove crucial to the scheme’s success. A shamefully poor understanding of the Green Deal means that many will not be promoting its far reaching benefits to their constituents when it launches in less than six months, meaning that take up is unlikely to be sustained beyond the early cash incentives that will be available to homeowners and businesses. Unless a top down approach is taken by Government we will not succeed in addressing the UK’s carbon emissions attributable to buildings and the very real and growing issues of fuel poverty and unemployment.”
Nigel Rees, GGF Chief Executive, adds:
“The outcome of this poll must be very disconcerting for the Government. While the Green Deal continues to become more complex, the level of understanding will not improve. If Members of Parliament cannot understand the scheme, then how can we expect homeowners to understand it? Furthermore, the complexities will mean the Federation, its members and businesses throughout the construction industry will find it a very difficult scheme to promote and support. The Green Deal must be easy to understand with visible benefits for all concerned.”
Neil Pennell, Head of Sustainability and Engineering Land Securities Group PLC, comments:
“It is clear from the survey that a lot of work needs to be done to sell the Green Deal to MPs as a viable mechanism for funding energy efficiency improvements in the domestic sector. The case for Green Deal in the commercial property sector is even less well developed and unless a compelling case can be made we believe that take up will be very low.”
*The polling of 100 MPs was conducted between January and February 2012 and included 80 men and 20 women from across the UK and spanning the three major political parties.
14th June 2012