British 'green deal' must win consumer confidence, say Velux
Velux has warned that if the British government's 'green deal' fails to win the confidence of consumers it could be a "kick in the teeth" for the energy efficiency retrofit market. The green deal will allow homeowners to pay for energy upgrades via loans paid back through their energy bills.
Speaking as a panelist at the Liberal Democrat party conference last month alongside energy minster Ed Davey, Velux design manager Paul Hicks said it was imperative that energy efficiency measures reaped the rewards homeowners expected. He also called for assurances that the 'golden rule' – which requires that the cost of any energy efficiency measure must be equal to or less than the expected saving — is properly applied. Hicks added: “It is important that the green deal considers how multiple energy efficiency measures will integrate and also how the maintenance of these measures will be paid for.”
Energy minister Ed Davey said the British government had moved to address some of these issues through training, accreditation and the creation of the green deal ombudsman: "Through the gradual roll-out of the scheme we can make sure we get it right and help to build confidence in the green deal," he said.
The panel, which also included MP Simon Wright and Glass and Glazing Federation deputy CEO Giles Wilson, agreed that the industry needed to be convinced of the benefits of becoming green deal accredited. Support from local authorities, and a push on take up of the scheme by entire streets rather than individual properties were discussed as ways of reassuring SMEs of demand.
All of the contributors agreed that the green deal will significantly benefit homeowners and businesses if applied correctly, but Davey acknowledged that government still needed to “dot the Is and cross the Ts.”