Comment: In the wake of a new report that highlights a low take-up of the Government's Green Deal, the University of Reading's Professor Tim Dixon says the initiative needs radical changes
Release Date 27 November 2013
A new IPPR report suggests that at the current rate of uptake, the Government will struggle to achieve even 1% of its projection of 130,000 loans being taken out in 2013. Professor Tim Dixon, Chair in Sustainable Futures in the Built Environment in the University of Reading's School of Construction Management and Engineering, outlines the problems.
"The Green Deal is a major step forward in potentially enabling energy efficiency measures to be carried out at a large scale in the UK, but although the data shows an improvement on figures earlier this year they are still disappointing . Despite delays by some energy companies in carrying out the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) scheme, it is ECO which is driving domestic energy efficiency installations in the UK, and not the Green Deal."
"More flexibility needs to be given to homeowners. More permanent and wide-ranging incentives need serious consideration such as differential stamp duty, council tax rebates, and tax breaks, along with clearer guidance on the scheme.
"Much more work needs to be done on the Green Deal before the scheme becomes an effective way of improving energy efficiency. We will need to retrofit one house per minute until 2050 if we are to meet our national carbon emissions targets. So scaling up retrofit with financing at low rates of interest that provides real incentivisation is key. Radical transformation of the Green Deal remains a priority."
Professor Tim Dixon has led many projects across a range of areas during more than 30 years of research leadership and management. He was recently commissioned by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) to examine the low carbon plans and strategies of the top 60 cities in the UK. Giving an overview of how cities are faring, Professor Dixon also examined why some are performing better than others and looked at major barriers that could prevent cities reaching national 2050 emissions targets. Professor Dixon is also carrying out research within the EPSRC Retrofit 2050 programme, a four year research council-funded project which is looking at re-engineering and retrofitting cities to 2050.