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Green Deal kicks off in Birmingham, but doubts still plague the scheme

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Birmingham has begun its large scale trial of the eco-retrofit scheme which aims to improve 60,000 homes by 2020

After a quiet launch, the city council is the first local authority to appoint a delivery partner for the Green Deal, after being awarded £2.6million of funding, last month.

Teaming up with Carillion, Birmingham City Council plans to insulate tower blocks across the city, deliver energy efficiency improvements to council owned buildings, and work with the local community to implement the Green Deal.  

The council claim that this trial scheme will create 350 jobs, and that this could rise to 2000 by 2020.

This comes amid long-running setbacks which have plagued the government incentive scheme, which was originally due to get underway last year but is not now expected to fully come on board until January 2013.

The Green Deal launched with no major retailers on board. Not one of the UK’s DIY retailers are signed up to the scheme, yet they have always been seen as essential to its success.

Brian Berry of the Federation of Master Builders argued: ‘For the Green Deal to succeed, Government must generate business confidence in the scheme by sending clear policy signals. When agreed time frames are not adhered to, businesses lose faith in what the Government is saying.

The Government predicts that the Green Deal programme could kick start £14billion of investment over the next decade and support at least 65,000 new insulation and construction jobs by 2015. However, with the construction industry continuing to falter, we need this stimulus right away which is why it is so disappointing that there will be a three month delay to actual work commencing under the Green Deal’.

Velux also warns that ‘if the Green Deal fails to win the confidence of consumers it could be a kick in the teeth for the wider energy efficiency retrofit market’.

 

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