The Green Deal is the Government’s flagship scheme for making our homes more energy efficient, but as things stand at the moment it won’t work, and I’m a supporter!
The scheme aims to help 16 million households fit a variety of energy efficiency measures from insulation through to boiler upgrades and even renewables. The idea is that consumers will privately finance energy efficiency improvements with the savings made by increased energy efficiency with monies recouped in clearly set out instalments attached to the energy bill and spread.
And there’s the rub. It’s a good idea but the Government is not actually putting any money in itself.
This is a shame because my belief is that a large percentage of the population are ready to make the leap into energy efficiency and renewables, but just need a final shove.
Where will that shove come from? The prospect of a 20 per cent rise in energy prices is surely enough to make even the most cautious strap on a parachute and shout 'Geronimo'.
But even better would be for the Government to dip into its pockets and give us some sort of tax break. Now I know this is the Age of Austerity but everything I am hearing points to the fact that our leaders are beginning to get the message and a tax break on Stamp Duty, Council Tax or VAT could be on the cards.
The most obvious target is VAT. We currently burn fossil fuel at 5 per cent VAT but energy efficiency measures are charged at 20 per cent. This is bonkers!
What if both were at 5 per cent VAT? That could be just enough to make the Green Deal a very attractive proposition.