enews 25 November 2011
The Green Deal challenge
On Wednesday the government launched the consultation on its Green Deal proposal. The scheme, due to start in autumn 2012, has the potential to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions significantly, enabling energy saving improvements to be made to homes and small businesses at no upfront cost. Ministers are gathering evidence about how best to design it and create a framework to enable private companies to offer energy efficiency improvements, recouping payments through a charge on the energy bill. The Green Deal will be focused on measures which meet the ‘golden rule’, ie the expected financial savings must be greater than the costs attached to the energy bill.
A major short term challenge for the scheme will be to ensure that it moderates the impact of rising fossil fuel prices. By focusing on heat, it has the potential to help address one half of domestic bills. Unfortunately, it will do relatively little to cut electricity use, which is around three times more expensive per unit, and the other half of most consumers’ energy bills. To cut electricity demand, Green Alliance recently proposed an electricity efficiency feed-in tariff which would fit well with the Green Deal.
As part of our contribution to the consultation, we are holding a series of three constituency based workshops under our Climate Leadership Programme for MPs . These events are an opportunity for local people – community groups, housing associations, the council, energy companies and more – to find out more about the Green Deal, and discuss how it could help improve energy saving in their area, with their local MP and Green Alliance experts.
The first workshop was last week, in Hexham with Guy Opperman MP. It was well attended, with over 30 local stakeholders discussing what the Green Deal might mean for them, in particular the challenges of making it work in a large constituency with many people living in rural locations, in hard to treat homes or in fuel poverty. Participants came up with lots of good suggestions and ideas, both for the implementation of the Green Deal in Hexham, and also more broadly. The second workshop is today (25 November) in the Bristol North West constituency with Charlotte Leslie MP. The third is in Redcar on 1 December with Ian Swales MP.
Recommendations from the workshops will be put forward to government ministers by both Green Alliance and the MPs involved, through meetings in person and a Green Alliance report to be published in the New Year.
For more information about our Green Deal workshops, contact Hannah Kyrke Smith
Climate Leadership Programme
Decarbonisation on the cheap