It was only a few days ago that I was hypothesising about the potential fall of the Green Deal under this new Conservative government. And now today, an article from the Independent appears to shed more damning light on to matters. If you’re a Green Deal assessment company, this report won’t make for happy reading.

No Minister, no funding

In the report, it explains two key factors as to the expected demise of the much criticised scheme. The first being the lack of a dedicated Government Minister to oversee things like energy efficiency:

Significantly, the Green Deal no longer has a minister directly responsible for the programme, while the energy efficiency brief has been handed to Lord Bourne – the most junior minister in the department who divides his time with the Welsh Office, and is unpaid.

So no Minister. I think it’s safe to say that if the Government were serious about keeping such a scheme alive, they would have put someone in charge of it. That’s the first big nail in the coffin from this report. Here’s the second, and probably even more important one:

Overall, DECC’s £3.3bn annual budget is expected to be one of the biggest casualties in percentage terms of George Osborne’s latest austerity drive. He announced last week that it would have to find £70m in this financial year and that figure is expected to rise significantly in the autumn Spending Review. The department has already lost the equivalent of one full-time minister following last month’s reshuffle and there are expected to be significant staff cuts as big projects such as the Green Deal and Electricity Market Reform are wound down.

It’s not just the Green Deal that is expected to go, but many others as well. The DECC budget is likely to be decimated come the Spending Review. In the grand scheme of things, the amount of money ploughed into Green Deal isn’t massive when you compare it to other departmental budgets. But the Government can be sure that it’s not providing any ROI, so there is very little point in providing more money to disappear down a black hole.

The report gets worse, and gets a dig from a former Labour MP and consultant to the previous coalition Government:

“You had a scheme that was a donkey. It was quite clear that the limit of credible deception was going to be the end of the last Parliament. Whoever came in was going to look at the debacle and have to do something about it … This is the end of the Green Deal.”

He’s right. He knew it was a donkey before it went live, so did we. The Government’s own advisers were even telling them it wouldn’t work. Yet they failed to listen.

Real consequences

Lets put the Green Deal bashing aside for the moment and consider some of the more serious consequences once the scheme has been shut down.

You don’t need to look too hard to see that there has been a whole industry formed around the idea of Green Deal. There is a big network of Green Deal assessment companies that are going to be suddenly out of work, unless they can reincarnate into another company providing energy savings measures of another kind. If not, they’re out of a job very quickly.

Then there’s the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund and the Green Deal bank. What is going to happen with money promised from both these entities? Will promised payments be honoured? Again, jobs will be at risk.

When Green Deal is scrapped, what happens to those loans already taken out by homeowners on their properties? Will they become void? Will the Government expect them to be paid back? Lets face it, that Golden Rule wasn’t a very good one to start with. It will be decades before the Government see any real cash back from those loans.

The point is here, that whilst we all contemplate the end of a complete farce of a scheme, there are going to be people and businesses out of pocket and out of a job once this thing closes down. It’s not their fault. The Green Deal should have been better run and better organised from the start. But it’s these people who are going to pay the price for the ineptitude of the previous Government.

Click to read the full Independent story

To get daily updates from DGB sent to your inbox, enter your email address in the space below to subscribe:

[wysija_form id=”1″]