Green Deal faces opposition from ministers

Published:  16 April, 2012

LONDON: Although the Green Deal is set to be launched in October, there is opposition to it from government ministers.

To-date, B&Q is in the vanguard of the companies expected to profit from the initiative. It is one of a number of businesses set to reap multi-million profits from the new Green Deal, which will see homeowners borrow up to £10 000 to fit boilers, insulation, double-glazing, doors and other eco-friendly features. This will effectively create a second-mortgage, which will pass to the next owner if the property is sold. 

However, there will be fears that private sector energy assessors employed by B&Q and other firms may exaggerate the measures needed in the property to maximise their profits.

The government hopes that outlay on green upgrades will save the homeowner money in the long-run by reducing their energy consumption, thereby cutting their heating bills.

However, there is no guarantee that the improvements will leave the household better off. Some homeowners are also worried about the potential impact on the future saleability of their properties, or do not like the idea of incurring a debt.

The Department for Energy and Climate Change maintains that the Green Deal is vital to help the UK meet its commitment to slash carbon emissions under the Kyoto Treaty. Conservative ministers have grown increasingly sceptical of the plan in recent months and have tried to claim that policy was the brainchild of Chris Huhne, the Energy Secretary who recently left the Cabinet.

A growing number of Tories within the Government are keen for the entire scheme to be scrapped. However, DECC has already admitted there is potential for 'hassle' from the Deal, including new requirements which might "deter building occupiers from carrying out works".

Last week it emerged that millions of householders looking to build a conservatory, replace a boiler or put in new windows could first have to pay extra for measures such as wall or loft insulation, under new rules which are currently out to consultation. Experts have also warned that the Deal risks causing havoc in the private rented sector - because landlords would be breaking the law if they rented out accommodation which did not meet strict new energy-efficiency requirements.

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