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Set back for Green Deal, postponed until 2013

By Katie Anderson on September 24, 2012

It was set to launch next month, but the Government has confirmed plans to delay the October 2012 Green Deal launch until early 2013.

The revolutionary retrofit scheme is set to improve the energy efficiency of the UK’s ageing housing stock by assisting homeowners living in badly heated and insulated properties to carry out a range of home improvements of up to £10,000 without having to fund the work themselves upfront. From installing loft and cavity wall insulation, fitting the latest energy efficient double glazing or updating their old inefficient central heating system, consumers will be able to pay back the cost of the work through charges on their energy bills.

Although much has been made pertaining to a big launch in October, Energy secretary Ed Davey last week broke the news that the scheme would have to endure a slight delay. Apparently, while the legal framework is still on track to be in place from the start of October, consumers who want to benefit from the energy efficiency scheme won’t be able to get any work carried out until after the 28 January; only then will the finance mechanism be in place.

Commenting on the delay, Energy Minister Ed Davy said: “Most aspect of the Green Deal will start on 1 October, but the finance plans can only be signed from 28 January next year. Under the Green Deal legislation, you have to enter the plan before the work is done.”

The Government will hold off promoting the Green Deal properly until January, however households interested will be able to get their homes assessed for work from next month.

The news of the delay has been met with concern by homeowners and industry alike, who had readied themselves for next month’s big launch. The success or failure of the Green Deal sits firmly with the assessors, installers, plumbers, heating engineers and electricians who will be assigned to carry out the work and the insulation industry is already warning of job losses next year in the region of 44%. So any hold up will be a blow to say the least.

So what is causing the hold up? It appears that training is the main cause of the scheme’s delay. It is estimated that around 10,000 installers will be required to carry out work under the Green Deal by 2015 and having an installer accreditation procedure people can trust will make or break the Green Deal.