The government’s beleaguered Green Deal has a rival — a “Fair Green Deal” initiative set up by the Energy Saving Co-operative and Ecology Building Society was launched last month.
The scheme offers homeowners and small businesses an alternative to the government’s project, providing access to industry specialists, many of whom are part of the co-operative movement’s supply chain, and drawing on loans from “ethical” sources. The scheme has been successfully piloted in Oxfordshire and the East and West Midlands and the Energy Saving Co-operative plans to extend the initiative across the country within two years.
A spokesperson for the organisation said: “Our aims and those of the government are the same in that we both want to reduce carbon emissions and end fuel poverty. But we want to support householders and local economies by using small local suppliers rather than large contractors and our Fair Green Deal does that.”
She added: “We act as project managers while the work is carried out by approved small local firms, benefiting local communities, reducing household energy bills and reducing carbon emissions.”
Speaking in October when the Fair Green Deal scheme was launched, Ewan Jones, chief executive of the Energy Saving Co-operative, said: “The Fair Green Deal does what the government’s Green Deal should do, it puts power in the hands of homeowners, communities and small businesses, to help them capture the benefits from energy savings rather than hand these over to the financial markets and the Big Six energy supply companies.”
In other news, pioneer Green Deal provider Enact Energy has been awarded a £100m contract from the Residential Landlords Association to deliver Green Deal services. It will target landlords and tenants of the UK’s 1.4 million private landlords with a goal of upgrading 10,000 properties over the next five years. The RLA service is due to start in November, initially offering free and grant-funded insulation and heating works through Energy Company Obligation services.
The contract award follows the government’s announcement last month that householders insulating their homes under the Green Deal will be able to claim back hundreds of pounds when the scheme launches in January. The initial rates will provide a rebate of up to £650 for solid wall insulation, £150 for floor insulation and £50 for draught-proofing.
However, these incentives are on a first-come first-served basis and will be reviewed once £40m is spent. DECC estimates that the average household will receive around £350, meaning the incentives could be cut after only 120,000 households have had work carried out.