Government blows £3m of Green Deal budget on marketing

The Green Deal is failing despite the huge sums invested in promoting it.

The Green Deal is failing despite the huge sums invested in promoting it

The Department of Energy and Climate Change has spent more than £3m since last October on advertising and marketing for the Green Deal, the government’s flagship energy efficiency policy.

This is despite the fact that the Green Deal has seen a disastrously low rate of take up.

When former energy minister Greg Barker was asked in March 2013 how many people he expected to have signed up to the deal by the end of the year, he gave 10,000 as a minimum figure.

As Left Foot Forward reported at the start of the year, Barker has since been forced to admit that the actual uptake has been much lower than this:

“We thought we’d do about 10,000 in the first 12 months, but in the first eight months since the plans have been available, there are just under 2,000 in the system. So we’re much lower than we expected.”

The latest figures show that just  2,581 households have had measures installed under the scheme. This represents fewer than one per cent of the households who had a Green Deal assessment.

Nevertheless, the Green Deal’s communications team has expanded by 40 per cent, and now employs 59 people. This includes 12 press officers.

In June 2014, the government announced plans to boost the low level of uptake by introducing a Green Deal Home Improvement Fund. But by the end of July ministers had been forced to close the fund when the money ran out.

This meant that some customers who had already paid for an assessment and expected it to be refunded under the cashback scheme £100 out of pocket.

The government’s figures also show that  440,000 households will miss out on help to install energy efficiency measure that would reduce their bills, because of changes to the Energy Company Obligation.

Jonathan Reynolds MP, Labour’s shadow minister for energy and climate change, said:

“The government’s Green Deal has been a disaster, with 99 per cent of people who have had an assessment saying ‘no deal’. This Tory-led government is wasting money hand over fist on this policy.

“It would have been cheaper to send their advertising executives out in a hired limo with a drill and some lagging to do the work themselves.

“Labour has committed to ending this scandalous waste of money and set out plans to freeze energy bills, reform the energy market and upgrade at least five million homes over 10 years. Our plans will mean cheaper bills and warmer homes for millions.”

In July 2013, a marketing company representing the Green Deal was fined £45,000 for making thousands of sales calls trying to persuade households to sign-up to home energy efficiency improvements.

Ruby Stockham is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow her on Twitter

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12 Responses to “Government blows £3m of Green Deal budget on marketing”

  1. swat

    God knows how long we’ve ben talking about the Green Deal, and yet its not sinking throufgh to the general populace that they can actually save money even get insulation free. So that may explain why £3m on promotion. There are lots of companies in the market and each one is sending out adverts as well. A better approach would bge to go to every house in the street and fine the owner for not insulating and then force them to insulate or pay another fine.
    The Govt is virtually trying to give money away and yet so few takers.

  2. Leon Wolfeson

    Free? No, the program is generally a loan. How is that going to be attractive even to the subset of tenants who qualify, for example (we don’t, living above a flat), and they still need landlords permission…

    Fines for poor energy assessments would be slapped onto rents. No, we need rent caps, and those rent caps should be partly based on energy efficiency.

  3. JohnRich

    More “green crap”.

  4. Guest

    About three minutes corporate welfare. Well, less.

    But hey, details.

  5. swat

    I’m thinking of insulating my loft with all this junk mail I get about the Green Deal.

  6. Leon Wolfeson

    It keeps some Tory advertising companies in business. (Follow the money!)

  7. frustrated

    No, the £3 million was spent on marketing Green Deal not ECO. You can’t get anything for free via the Green Deal because it’s a LOAN scheme and not a grant scheme. You may get subsidies towards Green Deal but it is still a LOAN.

    This is why £3 mill has been spent on marketing and people STILL don’t get it.

  8. frustrated

    The biggest problem with both ECO and Green Deal is that the people who need it most are still not getting help.

    Neither of these schemes are set up to address fuel poverty, it’s all based on carbon savings. You could be living in the coldest, most expensive house and be at severe risk during the winter; but if your home cannot generate enough carbon credits to fund the cost, tough.

    Neither ECO or Green Deal are the right tools for addressing fuel poverty and anyone working in the industry will tell you that same thing. Even EPC’s are a waste of time, effort and resources. Some still don’t tell you what you need to know. Which idiot decided to create a default where if there is no loft hatch, it assumes it’s fully insulated? How is that even physically possible; with no access?

    The UK needs a free scheme for those in fuel poverty which is not held to ransom by carbon targets, and a subsidised carbon based scheme for those that can afford it but need some encouragement via cheaper costs.

    It’s not that diffucult to work out IF you are genuine about helping people and not just interested in making money off vulnerable peoples misery. The only logical conclusion that can be drawn from these non-sensical descisions is that someone, somewhere is making a lot of money for doing very little to address a very serious issue.

  9. I've Voted YES for Scotland

    The Green deal needs to get cars off our roads. It’s easy to force drivers to pay for the terrible damage they do and close roads to traffic so cyclists can reclaim the streets.

  10. blackeyemike

    Ridiculously ignorant suggestion

  11. Patrick Casey

    Bang on, you have hit the nail on the head ! Apart from the loft hatch, if there is no access then RdSAP assumes building regs apply. So a modern property with no access will differ from an older property with no access, as there probably wasn’t building regulations at the time of construction.

    The age of the property has a big bearing on these “unknown values” otherwise assumptions. Another example is “as-built”, the data will be taken from the property age.

    If you are reading this and you would like an energy assessment from a proper assessor feel free to visit my site or give me a call 0755 1234 222

  12. Mark Yates

    Whilst the Green Deal scheme had shut down earlier on last year after households grabbed all of the available £120m. Good news for home owners – the Green Deal is now back – though, for a limited time.

    I just got a Green Deal Assessment to see how Green Deal can help me – sure, if it can help lower my fuel bill then I figure it’s got to be worth a go!I think finding a Green Deal assessor was hard going (there’s quite a few of them!) but as I live in the North West I heard about STL Heating who are decent Green Deal specialists – and that’s who I chose.

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