£240m home energy efficiency scheme - not too great

14 April 2016

green houses Remember when the government wanted to make everyone's homes more energy efficient? That scheme cost taxpayers £240 million, but according to the National Audit Office, it didn't really do much good in terms of carbon savings.

Over a quarter of the UK's energy demands and greenhouse gas emissions are caused by housing, and making homes more efficient is still seen as a massive way of tackling climate change, not to mention sorting out the problem with fuel poverty, as well as saving everyone money on their energy bills.

It turns out that, by the end of 2015, only 1% of households took part in the government's initiative, with a measly 14,000 households going for the loan scheme, where providers covered upfront costs with the installation of efficiency measures, with consumers paying back the money made from their savings on energy bills.

This scheme, unsurprisingly, has now been ditched.

The investigation into the Green Deal Finance Company, who were created to offer finance for this initiative, were found to have a £25 million loan from the government which isn't likely to be paid back. If you want to get irritated further by this, the 13 members of staff that were employed by this company were paid £1.3 million in 2014.

The National Audit Office rounded up by saying that this green deal didn't give the taxpayer value for money, and delivered "negligible" carbon savings. In addition to that, the creation of the "energy company obligation" (ECO) which requires suppliers to install energy saving measures in homes, further reduced its value for money.

Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, said: " The Department of Energy and Climate Change's ambitious aim to encourage households to pay for measures looked good on paper, as it would have reduced the financial burden of improvements on all energy consumers."

"But in practice, its green deal design not only failed to deliver any meaningful benefit, it increased suppliers' costs - and therefore energy bills - in meeting their obligations through the ECO scheme. The department now needs to be more realistic about consumers' and suppliers' motivations when designing schemes in future to ensure it achieves its aims."

TOPICS:   Utilities   Government

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