Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Responses to Green Deal Progress
to the Government's statement on the Green Deal and ECO
(Energy Company Obligation) today, Audrey Gallacher, Director of
Energy at Consumer Focus, said: "It is welcome that the
Government has listened and improved many aspects of consumer
protection for the Green Deal, but two key issues remain.
Protections must apply to all Green-Deal accredited products and
services regardless of how they are paid for, and quotes must be
clear and comparable for customers. As a minimum, voluntary
standards from industry are needed to prevent the mis-selling that
could be so damaging to this fledgling market.
"We are also concerned that the Government has still not
outlined further steps to stimulate consumer demand for the Green
Deal. Without clear incentives to attract consumers, such as
Council Tax or Stamp Duty discounts, we are worried that people
won't see the benefit or relevance of the scheme to them.
"With the poorest consumers hit hardest by rising energy
prices, we also want to see greater emphasis on helping those
living in fuel poverty under the energy company obligation. While
targets have been marginally increased for ECO much more needs to
be done, given the millions of pensioners, families and disabled
people struggling to afford to heat their homes. In particular we
think some of the revenue the Government will receive from carbon
taxes should be used to get help to those who need it."
Luciana Berger MP, Labour's Shadow Climate Change Minister,
responded to the Government's response by
stating: "Today was the Government's chance to salvage the
Green Deal but Ministers have failed to convince the public that it
will be a good deal and, despite all the criticism their plans have
received, they remain riddled with problems. The proposals still
contain massive loopholes which allow for mis-selling and cowboy
builders, as well as containing harsh penalty payments for repaying
loans early, which will cost consumers thousands of pounds and
destroy the public's trust in the scheme.
"In addition, the Government's own figures show that the
number of cavity wall insulations will plummet by 43% and the
number of loft insulations by 83%. This will be a disaster for
hundreds of small businesses across the country and will risk
thousands of jobs. While Ministers have adopted Labour's
plans for establishing green deal apprenticeships and including
hard to treat cavity walls in the ECO, unless more changes are
made, the Green Deal risks being a car crash."