The Green Deal failed due to the lack of implementation by the big six energy companies, Tory MP and former DECC minister Greg Barker has claimed.
The programme, which aimed to expand energy efficiency for a larger amount of consumers by installing new boilers and solar panels, was unsuccessful, according to Barker, because the companies were not promoting or selling it to their customers.
“My biggest mistake was taking the big six at face value in the early years of this parliament when they said they were interested in energy efficiency. Absolute rubbish. They are not,” the Guardian reported Barker as saying at an industry event on Tuesday.
Barker was not alone in the opinion that the programmes failure was due to the big six. Ed Davey, secretary of state for energy and climate change, concurred.
According to Barker, British Gas told the government: “Your Green Deal’s rubbish, we’ve put all our resources in and nobody wants these products.” British Gas did not comment to the Guardian.
He also believes that it is the failing of the large companies, as supposedly, smaller companies had implemented the deal successfully.
Davey, while agreeing the big six are to blame, disagreed with Barker saying that the Green Deal had shown a significant difference, with installations in one million homes since January 2013. He had previously been quoted in 2014 saying that the outcome of the Green Deal was “disappointing”.
Barker, however, placed blame elsewhere as well. He believes that Labour is partially at fault as well. In his opinion, under a Labour government, the 15 largest companies became six, and Labour’s promise to cap energy prices, would be the end of smaller energy companies.
According to Barker: “Labour are basically the party of big government solution, of big companies that they want to wrestle with and that they can regulate… And the Tories are on the side of entrepreneurs.”
Jonathan Reynolds, Labour’s shadow minister for energy and climate change, told the Guardian: “That analysis just doesn’t stack up.”