Green Homes Grant Installer

Deal or no deal

The British government has been working on ‘The Green Deal’ for several years now. It was originally the brainchild of the previous Labour government but the coalition took the idea on and brought it to fruition. I say ‘fruition’ but that is hardly an accurate description because it has failed to even blossom let alone bear fruit. There are currently just four households in the UK that have signed up. Yes that is four not four thousand or even four hundred.

When the government first started consulting on this scheme a lot of interested parties sat on endless committees and contributed their thoughts. As happens with these things people complained of being ignored but whenever you sift ideas there will be rejects and with that comes hurt pride. But looking at what got accepted I can’t help but wonder what the rejects looked like. They must have been very bad indeed because there seems to be no aspect of this scheme that appeals to the British homeowner.

A local builder could do the job just as well, probably better, for a fraction of the price…

As soon as I saw the way it was shaping up I knew it was in trouble. The usual suspects began to emerge. Cold callers, ex double glazing salesmen in the guise of surveyors and people outside DIY stores with big smiles and clip boards. They were fooling nobody.

There are many aspects of the scheme that are wrong. The extortionate interest rates being one, but the fundamental flaw is that there is no real competition for the work. When you look at some of the quotes being given for jobs such as insulation and double glazing you start to get the idea that this is a cosy little club. At those prices at the 8% interest rate the savings take too long to kick in.

A local builder could do the job just as well, probably better, for a fraction of the price and if the householder went to one of the High Street building societies they would probably be able to secure a loan for 3 percent less than the ‘Green Deal’ rate.

So anyone who is serious about saving energy can either go through all the red tape and paraphernalia that seems to be part of any government package or they can ring their trusted local builder who will come round on his way home, probably in his overalls not his suit, and give them an honest assessment of what is likely to be a good investment in energy saving.

Most of it is fairly obvious stuff, a new boiler, better controls, under-floor heating, draught proofing, double glazing, insulation and perhaps some solar panels.

About Roger Bisby

Roger Bisby is an English television presenter and journalist, known for his expertise in the British building industry.

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