The Green Deal Scheme has been the subject of much debate since its ‘soft launch’ on 1st October 2012. Many have been left confused about the benefits property owners can gain from it, whilst others are unsure as to what it’s even about. On Monday 19th November Greg Barker participated in a live chat on the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s website to clear up on some of these concerns.
Firstly, many seemed confused about the actual start date of the Green Deal. Has it started already? If so, why can’t businesses and households sign up for Green Deal Assessments yet? The Green Deal claims to be a simple scheme, yet people are confused as to whether it has actually taken effect or not. Barker explained in reply to this query that the 1st of October 2012 was not in fact the “real launch” of the Green Deal, rather “the frame work went live … to allow companies to begin getting registered as Green Deal Assessors.” The Green Deal’s actual launch will take place on the 28th January 2013.
Of course, the Green Deal is a major government initiative that has even been referred to as the biggest home-improvement scheme since the Second World War. Therefore, taking into consideration all of the different aspects it involves, there is bound to be quite a large amount of preparation time in getting the ball rolling.
Others that took part in the live chat were concerned that there would be no real benefits for UK property owners upon their involvement in the scheme. Barker made a point of outlining just how beneficial the Green Deal will be. There is the obvious and main purpose of the scheme, which is to reduce carbon emissions caused by a wasteful use of energy due to properties’ inefficiencies. However, many do not see this as a good enough reason to get on board with the Green Deal. Barker stated in reply to this, “There will be a direct financial benefit for the first Green Deal Customers, which is why people should get in early.” With this comment Barker was referring to the newly announced Green Deal Cash Back incentive that means property owners can get a cash reward of up to £1000 for their participation in the Green Deal. The incentive will be run on a first-come, first-served basis to hopefully get things off to a fast start and get people signing up for the Green Deal.
Of course, the Green Deal will be the source of many other benefits to its participants. People seem to be forgetting that the home-improvements that will come under the Green Deal umbrella really will make their properties more comfortable and significantly increase their value.
Greg Barker cheerily left the live web chat with an enthusiastic “let’s do this again!” It seems he can’t be put off by probing questions, which hopefully means the Green Deal really is going to deliver everything it promises!