Concerns have been raised by Alan Whitehead, Shadow Energy Minister, that the provisions made to replace the Energy Company Obligation and Green Deal won’t be enough, and perhaps does not serve anywhere near a considerable purpose as Energy Company Obligation.
Of course, Alan Whitehead did not to the positive nature of their being, at the very least, something to replace Energy Company Obligation with, as there had previously been doubts as to its replacement with anything at all. Yet, he then went on to highlight that, from the early signs shown in the Autumn statement, all we presently have is a plan for £640m each year and an overarching target of some 200,000 homes each year between 2017 and 2021 – an approximate 40% drop in the previous expenditure figures and an even more considerable drop in the number of homes.
Whilst the news that the scheme will be replaced is received on more of a positive than negative note, with some support being notably better than none, there are serious concerns as to just how the new provision will make any meaningful difference when considering the lack of success seen in the original Green Deal, which was a greater dedication to investment. Alan Whithead commented: “As it stands at the moment it seems like a pretty ineffective replacement for schemes that themselves were going down below levels that had previously been seen for energy efficiency…when we need those energy efficiency measures like never before.”
Of course, given the severe shortcomings and lack of interest in the Green Deal, it was originally hoped that any deal to follow would try to provide a more substantial offering so as best to incentivise green energy initiatives. These signs are, of course, only early days, yet thus far the concerns are that the new deal will simply see the mopping up of homes which are deemed easy to treat, with those perhaps in most need, taking a back seat.