1,700 jobs lost due to the Governments Green Deal

Posted: 24/01/2013

Due to the gap between one of the Governments home energy schemes ending and another starting, 1,700 jobs have been lost in the insulation industry. The latest Government scheme to make homes more energy efficient whilst saving home owners money on energy bills is called the Green Deal. The Green Deal allows householders can take out a loan to have work undertaken on their home to improve their properties energy efficiency.

However, the Green Deal does not start untill the 28th January and the previous scheme where householders could have insulation fitted for free or cheaply ended in December. This has caused a loss of 1,700 jobs up to now and higher costs for homes at the coldest time of year. There were 34,000 insulation orders cancelled that were on the waiting list because the funding was cut by the Government and a further 27,000 inquiries from householders were put on hold.

Five energy efficiency organisations and ten major companies have written to the Energy and Climate Secretary urging him to work with them on a transition scheme that would ensure even the poorest households would have access to insulation during the coldest winter months. The experts of the insulation industry claim that up to 16,000 people in total may loose their jobs because of the gap between the end of the previous energy efficiency scheme and the beginning of the demand for the Green Deal, which is not expected to hit until April.

The figure of 1,700 jobs lost came from a poll by the Trade Association. They polled all of their members about job losses and found that exactly 1,782 jobs had lost their jobs and a further 1,124 have been put on notice however, these figures are likely to under represent the true amount of job losses.

Other concerns have also been raised regarding the Green Deal, one of them being the upfront fees which will put people off upgrading the efficiency of their homes. Consumer groups have warned that upfront charges of up to £150 which must be paid to an energy assessor in order to know which parts of your home need upgrading to become more energy efficient.

The Green Deal launches this month and is designed to allow home owners to take out a loan to improve the energy efficiency of their home and the repayments will be made from the money they save on their energy bill. However, it is expected that the upfront fees up to £150 will put most homeowners off upgrading their home.

The Guardian surveyed the 24 companies listed as domestic ‘assessors’ on the Green Deal website and found that out of the 18 that were contactable, five will charge between £95 to £150 for an upfront assessment. Eleven were unable to answer the question of how much their fee will cost and just the one company (Mark Group) are planning to offer the assessment for free. One of the companies on the list had been accidently added to the Government website as a provider for the Green Deal.

According to the director of energy at the consumer rights champion Consumer Focus, Audrey Gallacher, previous schemes such as the free insulation scheme mentioned above have failed to meet targets so to expect people to go out and secure finance for home improvements is farfetched, even if the deal has good intentions it will probably face quite a few difficulties. However, the Green Deal is targeted for low income households.

The Government plans to spend £2.9 million on an advertising campaign because there aren’t many people who know about the Green Deal and also the offer of cash back to the first people who sign up.

What do you think about the Green Deal and how popular do you think it will be? Would you take out a Green Deal loan or would you prefer if the old energy saving schemes had stayed in place?

Amanda McGovern, Pali Ltd

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(0) Comments loans, housing, climate, energy, Government, jobs, energy efficient, Green Deal

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