Green Deal: what does it mean in practice?
Is the Green Deal on track to send the right messages to consumers?
So far the Green Deal has been surrounded by uncertainty; with confusion over its launch, and a lack of homeowners and DIY retailers signing up to the scheme.
To help clear this up, Footprint went along to the event Green Deal in Practice last week, organised by the UK Green Building Council and located at Kings Place. Kingspan, Travis Perkins and Willmott Dixon provided domestic refurbishment case studies aiming to promote the scheme to the 120 attendees.
Source: Source: Behaviour Change
Brendan McGarry, of Gemserv, referred to the main principles of the scheme’s Code of Practice, while providing guidance to suppliers, installers and assessors. He also highlighted the 45 energy efficiency measures which are eligible for the Green Deal.
David Hall, executive director of Behaviour Change, asked ‘is the Green Deal unstrategic?’ He remarked that DECC’s £2million marketing investment for the scheme is ‘relatively low’ when compared with the £200million used for the digital switchover campaign.
Findings from Green Deal focus sessions held in October have revealed the programme to be most appealing to home owners under the age of 40, whilst scepticism about the scheme was reflected by 75 per cent of respondents having negative views towards the scheme.
Source: Behaviour Change
Peter Farrand, head of marketing strategy of DECC, referred to the government’s quick guides as a means of providing understandable information for households wishing to take advantage of the Green Deal.
Anne Parkes, Green Deal project manager for Greater Manchester, said that the city will have entirely implemented the programme by 2014. However, she emphasised that only 250,000 houses are under the control of local authorities, since most of the properties are privately owned.
Sally Hancox, director at Gentoo Green, referred to their Energy Saver Bundle investment plan, and called for the Green Deal to use ‘familiar’ terms such as ‘health’ and ‘money savings’ to encourage households to invest. She urged the government to provide incentives like stamp duty, council tax banding and rewards to early adopters.
An interesting point was made by sustainability consultant Paul Appleby who asked the question ‘does the Green Deal programme cover mould growth and condensation problems?’. Answers ranged from ‘it depends on the client’s budget’ to ‘the Green Deal focuses on energy efficiency in buildings’, which, reflects the scheme’s lack of integration with other consumer needs.
Should RIBA have an annual sustainability award?