Director Paul Joyner at Sustainable Building Solutions (part of the Travis Perkins Group) has voiced his support to the Government’s Green Deal, claiming the energy-saving home improvement loan scheme will finally “take-off” in the autumn.
Speaking to the Green Building Council, Joyner commented that the issues with the Green Deal – highlighted in scathing reports based on DECC statistics that show only four approved schemes were put in place in the first six months – go beyond the assumption that ‘consumers’ do not understand how Green Deal works, instead stating that this outlook is “condescending” and “downright wrong” and that the challenges are in fact at a much deeper level
“38,000 evaluations testify to the fact that this is not a demand issue,” Joyner said. “We are six months into one of the most complex interfaces between utility companies, the finance industry, manufacturers, distributors, installers and consumers ever attempted in this country. It was always going to take time.”
Joyner went on to say the scheme’s biggest challenges was access to finance, as well as the “sniping and unwarranted criticism” it faced. And, though admitting mistakes had been made, he revealed the Travis Perkins Group and its Green Deal provider Toriga are working towards making finance widely available and much easier to access by the autumn. “I am confident that, once the finance is in place, the Green Deal will really take-off,” he concluded.
Under the Green Deal programme, home owners can request an assessment by a qualified assessor who will recommend cost-effective measures such as double glazing, solid wall insulation or a new boiler.
The home owner can then take out a Green Deal loan to pay for the improvements, paying the money back through savings on fuel bills. The Government hopes some 14 million homes will be improved over the next seven years, reducing the UK’s reliance on fossil fuels.
Most critics have blamed the somewhat high loan interest rates – 7 to 8 per cent – leading once again to the suspicion that government policy is aimed at fleecing the public and lining the pockets of big business, but in reality, try and get a personal loan for that rate (even with a perfect credit score) and maybe there would be an element of truth.
Nevertheless, if Sustainable Building Solutions via their parent Travis Perkins Group can unlock access to finance, perhaps the scheme will see the take up increase.