Want to know how well the Green Deal is doing for the home improvement industry? Well @PhilSirr pointed me to an article on www.building.co.uk that revealed the latest figures from the cavity wall insulation industry. Well, I say an industry, but the recent numbers suggest there is very little “industrial” about it.

The latest figures report that cavity wall insulation jobs were a staggering 97% DOWN on the month in the previous year! In total, and measly 1138 installations happened in April, compared to a monthly average of around 40,000 BEFORE the Green Deal came into force. The monthly average of 2013 was currently at 11,000 before this massive new low. These figures are appalling and unacceptable.

The reason why these figures have dropped off a cliff is because when the Green Deal came into force in October 2012 it took away the current obligations from the energy companies to have houses insulated. Now the obligations have gone and the take up of Green Deal is incredibly poor, it has totally ravaged the cavity wall industry.

These figures are significant for two reasons. The first is that cavity wall insulation is by far one of the cheapest methods of quickly insulating a home to lower energy bills. By making this more difficult to achieve it immediately makes it harder for people to modify their homes to become more energy efficient and it makes achieving Government targets by 2020 ever harder.

The second reason why these figures are important is that it really does put at risk the whole of the cavity wall industry. There are thousands of people who work in the sector and rely on work being generated by these schemes to keep them employed and the bills being paid. I would be seriously worried looking at these figures.

Moreover, recent research done by Which? has pointed out that by having a Green Deal loan attached to a property will have a negative effect on the prospects of selling the property, forcing the owners to repay the loan amount on full before any sale of the house can move forward. Who wants that sort of hassle?

@MarkWarren3 mentioned that it has long been a fear that the Green Deal would have this sort of impact and that the Government are looking at ways to curb the dramatic fall in installations. However, 5 months into the year and no real ideas coming out of Number 10 as to how to repair the damage, I fear that the cavity wall industry has undergone damage beyond repair.

The only way I can see things being put right is to scrap the scheme altogether. No scheme is worth persevering with if it causing so much damage. The idea, while good in principle, was never due to work in reality due to the complex nature of the housing, construction and home improvement industries.

What is baffling is that the pre-Green Deal way of working was going quite nicely. It probably wasn’t perfect, but it was certainly better than what we have now! It would have been so much easier to work around the existing infrastructures and tweak as and where required. Lowering VAT on energy rated products would have also made a nice touch as the general public knows very well about VAT and a lowering of it would have been far more palatable.

I’m really hoping that the GGF have seen these figures, my frustration and the frustration of the rest of the industries and will pressure the Government into a serious re-think of this whole mess they have created!