Last week the Government announced that it would provide no new funding for the Green Deal Finance Company. The Government is also ending funding for the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund. They’ve been scrapped because of low take-up. No replacements have been announced. This means loans and financial support for many homeowners and landlords will no longer be available – leaving many in limbo.
When the Government launched the Green Deal scheme in 2013 it was billed as their flagship green policy to insulate homes – ‘the biggest home improvement programme since the Second World War.’
The reality was very different.
Labour’s Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds lead on Regeneration, Transport and Planning, was in no doubt that the policy had been a failure
“No-one was going to defend the most recent Green Deal scheme. Higher interest rates than the high street and fears over what happens when homes are sold were never going to capture the public’s imagination. It’s no surprise take up has been so low.”
But he was also clear about the impact of this on-off inept policy making.
“This is yet another U-turn which leaves individuals and communities in limbo. We have already heard from landlords in Cross Green who are concerned about how this will impact on the work to transform their private rented properties.
“What we do know is that there is a real need for green investment in all types of homes, from Council properties to privately rented or owned homes. Not everyone can afford investments, even when this may save them money in the long run. Cutting a scheme with no immediate replacement smacks of a real failure to understand what is required to create better, warmer homes.
“A new, better scheme is needed now, not after an interminably long review. This will be one that seeks to positively and quickly allow investment in making homes more energy efficient, to cut fuel poverty. We are keen to work to get a more suitable re- placement in place as soon as possible.”
This U turn came hard on the heels of other Tory anti-Green moves – including their abandonment of the Zero-carbon homes target.
It’s clear that Green issues are at the bottom of this Tory Government’s agenda. And Leeds householders and their energy efficiency and warmth aren’t much higher up their list. We’ve come a long way since husky-hugging.