Think tank calls for Green Deal replacement

“Help to Improve” loans or stamp duty discounts could replace the Government’s Green Deal energy efficiency scheme, according to think tank ResPublica. 

In a report published today (23 September), entitled ‘After the Green Deal: Empowering people and places to improve their homes’, the think tank calls for a complete overhaul of the Government’s energy efficiency programmes.

The report calls for the creation of ‘Help to Improve’ loans would operate in a similar way to the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme. Loans would be offered by banks and building societies but guaranteed by the government.

It also suggests reducing the amount of stamp duty paid on homes that make energy improvements.

And calls for city regions to have a portion of the national infrastructure fund devolved so they can invest in energy efficiency schemes.

“Consumers need help to improve the energy efficiency of their homes,” said ResPublica Director, Phillip Blond.

“This report outlines workable ways to help homeowners take control of improving the energy efficiency of their homes. It also gives details of how devolved powers can incentivise city regions to improve efficiency of homes in their local areas ensuring they are allowed to keep the money generated from energy improvements and carbon taxes.”

“A centralised, top-down approach to government infrastructure spending needs to be replaced by more devolution to City Regions,” he added.

Councils should also designate ‘Warm Home Zones’ to help target areas where there are few energy efficient homes and poor health outcomes.  

Homeowners and landlords would have to adhere to strict regulations to improve energy efficiency in these zones. 

“We as Core Cities are committed to improving the energy efficiency of the UK’s housing stock and believe that it is essential for government to now embrace new ideas put forward by industry, exemplified by some of the policy initiatives suggested in ResPublica’s report,” said Bristol City Council George Ferguson and Core Cities Lead for Low Carbon Energy and Resilience Portfolio.

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