The Green Deal, due to launch officially on Monday, could take years to get off the ground, the minister responsible has admitted.
Edward Davey, secretary of state for energy and climate change, admitted that it could take two to four years for the Government’s flagship energy efficiency scheme to get going.
It is due to become operational in January, but concerns have been expressed that there is very low awareness among the public – including among private landlords and their tenants.
Speaking at the Lib Dem conference, Davey said the government plans to launch a ‘well thought through’ communications campaign to raise public awareness of the Green Deal in January, but added that it would take a number of years to build demand among consumers.
Under the Green Deal, households will be able to receive energy efficiency works on their homes at no upfront cost. Private landlords have more incentives than most to boost the energy efficiency of their properties, as poorly performing ones will be banned from the rental market in 2018.
However, a fringe session where the audience included representatives from small home improvement businesses that could potentially become Green Deal accreditors or providers, heard concerns that there would be insufficient demand for the scheme.
Davey said: “We’ve got challenges getting the Green Deal off the ground but we’re in a transition period – we’re building a new market.”