The Conservative government’s move to close the Green Deal, although disappointing, should not come as a shock to the industry, according to energy solutions’ distributor Rexel.
Jerry Hamilton, business development director of renewables & energy solutions for Rexel, expressed his disappointment at the sudden closure of the Green Deal which had been billed as the greatest home improvement scheme since World War II.
Hamilton said: “The close of funding for the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund is understandably a frustrating prospect for manufacturers, distributors and installers alike working in the industry. However, it isn’t entirely surprising.”
Hamilton said that the Green Deal worked as a “short-term fix” which did attract customer buy-in but warned that “the complexity of the accreditation process had made the Green Deal difficult for some installer firms to access, and the application process has equally made it hard to regulate consumer demand”.
The closure of the Green Deal leaves a sizeable gap in government’s energy efficiency policies and Amber Rudd recently pledged that she was “particularly ambitious” on energy efficiency despite recent cuts.
“With continual change and further cuts expected, what we really need is a comprehensive, long-term framework for the UK’s energy policy,” explained Hamilton. “That is why it is very encouraging to see that the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is already working to move towards a more collaborative approach and a more beneficial system – and we look forward to working with it and other industry stakeholders to help build a new policy and build a better system for all.”
Despite the spate of cuts to a number of green support mechanisms under the new government, Hamilton remains upbeat of the future of low carbon energy in the UK. He said: We mustn’t forgot that the renewables sector has made remarkable progress over recent years with solar PV expected to be the UK’s first ‘subsidy free’ renewable by the early 2020. However, in order to achieve this it is crucial for the industry and government to join forces and work together to develop a long-term framework for the country’s green growth.”
Hamilton concluded: “We look forward to further clarity from the government in the coming months.”