When history looks back at the Green Deal, it will probably see it as a great idea that was poorly planned, poorly communicated, poorly executed and poorly delivered. And in theory, the scheme was a good idea. But beyond an idea, it proved completely useless. At least from the perspective of the window industry.
A handful of windows
Green Deal assessors will boast that thousands upon thousands of assessments have been carried out. And yes, this is true, and they are the ones that will have been paid for those assessments. So, they can count themselves as winners there. But the uptake from homeowners once assessments have been carried out is low. Really low. Up to the end of February 2015 there has been a total of 500,000+ assessments carried out. However, out of those half a million assessments, just 10,846 plans for home improvements were in place. That’s a rough take up of just over 2%. Which ever way you look at that, its terrible.
On the windows front, the news is truly depressing. Just take a look a look at this graph. This takes into account all measures under the ECO (Energy Company Obligations) scheme:
Taking Green Deal figures into account specifically, up to now, only 21 window installations have been carried out under Green Deal finance. From a fenestration perspective, this whole scheme has been completely and utterly pointless. I do feel sorry for the GGF with this. They campaigned hard to make sure the window industry got representation in this scheme. Yet it’s limped from flop to flop.
Scrapped under a new government
The Green Deal has been championed by the yellow half of the coalition. However, with the upcoming election and latest polls indicating the Lib Dems are going to be decimated, there remains little chance that the Green Deal is going to have any champions left.
A new government, be it a single party or multiple party coalition, will look at the Green Deal as a complete waste of time and money. Even Ed Davey, current Energy Secretary, has admitted that it’s not gone as planned. There is another £70m of funding to come for the scheme, but that is honestly nowhere near enough. The GGF has pleaded with the government to recognise our industry and provide tangible support. That’s not going to happen, not this close to an election.
I can see it being scrapped inside 12 months of the result of the General Election. I don’t think any industry taking part can honestly say that it’s gone well. Less than 11,000 home improvement contracts in over 500k+ assessments proves that. It has had absolutely no positive influence on our industry since it’s inception. I hope that should any future government decide to try something like this again, they don’t. The traditional methods of buying any home improvement products are the ones that work the best. Perhaps trying to improve those methods, rather than creating brand new ones might work out better.