Will Green Deal cost more for Londoners?

The Green Deal energy efficiency scheme may end up costing more for Londoners because housing in the capital is more expensive to work on. With new types of insulation available, […]

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By Vicky Ellis

The Green Deal energy efficiency scheme may end up costing more for Londoners because housing in the capital is more expensive to work on.

With new types of insulation available, people in the capital could find themselves paying more – or even struggling to find the right installers.

As the Government’s national scheme to help people get better boilers and insulate their homes officially opens today, experts suggest different parts of the country will have to scrap it out to win cash for their residents.

Syed Ahmed, a North London-based energy consultant who founded the advice website Energy for London, told ELN: “London is still going to have to fight for its fair share of the Green Deal along with other regions.”

The Green Deal – which is likely to call on funding from suppliers via the Energy Companies Obligation – is the first Government scheme offering to pay for solid wall insulation, as well as loft and cavity insulation.

Mr Syed warned there aren’t enough builders with the right skills for this type of work.

“The step change is meant to be to solid wall insulation, none of the previous schemes have had this. A big chunk of the ECO, half a billion pounds a year at least, is likely to be directed to solid wall. That sort of work could end up being cheaper in Leicester than in London. You need to put scaffolding up for example, and in London that makes things more even complex.”

The warning adds to concerns the Government hasn’t thought through key details about putting the Green Deal into practice.

Toby Darbyshire, founder and CEO of installer Engensa said: “It is hard for those in Whitehall to really get a grip of what the individual consumer wants from home energy and how they buy – particularly with the prospect of a triple dip recession around the corner. People want simplicity, flexibility and low cost.  The Green Deal delivers none of these and the public knows this.”

Paul Williams, Chief Executive of solar panel provider Freetricity added: “It won’t work until it has been simplified and the Government can make the numbers work for corporate backers.”

Big high street retailers such as Marks & Spencer and B&Q were heralded as key to the scheme by the Government in the Green Deal’s early stages. It was reported at the end of last year that these organisations were holding back from getting involved until the kinks were worked out. Many are still yet to join, with only 24 Green Deal providers confirmed so far. Kingfisher is the largest firm offering insulation as part of the Green Deal.