Birmingham set to end Green Deal joint venture

Birmingham City Council are set to meet to 22 September to discuss plans to pull the plug on the Birmingham Energy Savers (BES) Green Deal Project.

The council’s cabinet will debate a report, which recommends giving notice to Carillion Energy Services that it intends to end the energy efficiency partnership with the company from April next year.

The report outlines that the council and Carillion had no chance of hitting targets established for BES because of the failure of the national Green Deal and changes in the support offered by the Government to green initiatives since the launch of BES.

The goals were based on a number of nationally-based assumptions on how the market for Green Deal would develop and included delivering Green Deal measures to at least 15,000 homes and at least 40 of the council’s public non-domestic properties.

The report also blames a lack of national marketing and lower than expected ECO subsidies for the projects lack of success.

The Government effectively wound down the national Green Deal project in July, when it announced there will be no more funding for either the Green Deal Finance Company or the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund.

“Everyone at the council and Carillion Energy Services has done their very best to make this partnership work – but when you are asked to deliver something that is based on a flawed central government model and significant changes in the energy efficiency market, you are faced with an impossible job,” said Cabinet Member for Sustainability at Birmingham City Council, Cllr Lisa Trickett.

“Through Birmingham Energy Savers, we have started the huge task of reducing CO2 and tackling fuel poverty, which affects far too many people in the city, key issues we must address if the city is to become truly sustainable.

“With the government constantly moving the goalposts there was absolutely no chance anyone could have hit the final target of 60,000 homes and 1,000 non-domestic buildings across the city at no net cost to the council.

“We need to break away from this arrangement and explore the other options that are out there to ensure we lift as many households out of fuel poverty as quickly as possible and reduce carbon emissions in the process.”

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues