in October, but the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is now looking at a phased introduction of the Government’s flagship
A spokesperson for DECC told GreenWise the Green Deal for business was being delayed due to the complexity of the non-domestic market. "It’s likely the Green Deal for business won’t be launched at the same time as the Green Deal for domestic but this is because it is such a complex area and we need to get it right.
"We are discussing how best to do this with industry, who are telling us they support our decision to have a managed introduction of the Green Deal to ensure its success from day one. It is probable, however, that many small business will be able to take part in the domestic scheme," she said.
Green Deal rethink
The decision by DECC follows calls by some business quarters to re-think the launch of the non-domestic Green Deal and news that Ministers and the big energy firms are considering options on how to implement a scaled-back Green Deal launch
for the domestic market.
But the delay means businesses and landlords will have to wait longer to invest in energy efficiency
improvements at no upfront cost at a time when they are seeing their annual energy costs rise by double-digit percentage points.
Nevertheless, some business groups today welcomed the move by the Government.
"If it is true the Government plans to implement a staged introduction of the Green Deal then we would welcome this decision," Stephen O’Hara, chairman of the Property and Energy Professionals Association (PEPA) said. "While its plans for domestic buildings
are well advanced and appear on track for the planned October introduction, it has been clear for some time that plans for non-domestic buildings require further clarification and exploration."
PEPA, which counts the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) and the Building Research Establishment (BRE) among its members, has been lobbying for a phased introduction to the Green Deal. It says the scheme has yet to address a number of key issues relating to the non-domestic market, such as the complex process of securing consent to carry out energy efficiency improvements within commercial premises, the role of assessors and proposed charges for non-domestic properties.
Best interest of consumers
"We have previously raised a number of concerns surrounding the existing plans for non-domestic buildings […] With such an important new framework, it is essential that the Government gets it right first time. I believe this latest decision is in the best interests of both the consumer and the industry," O’Hara said.
The Green Deal is being established to help homeowners and businesses access loans for loft and cavity wall insulation, lagging and other energy efficiency measures at no upfront cost. The Government says it will see billions of pounds lent every year and create hundreds of thousands of jobs between now and 2020. Most of the focus of Green Deal is on the domestic market, where the Government wants 14 million homes insulated by 2020. However, it is estimated 2.8 million businesses in commercial buildings could become more energy efficient under the Green Deal.
All businesses are seeing their energy costs rise, but small businesses
are being particularly squeezed and are expected to see price increases of 15 per cent by the end of 2012, according to research commissioned by Make It Cheaper from the Centre for Economics and Business Research.
The Carbon Trust estimates that small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) could, however, cut their energy costs by 20 per cent through energy efficiency measures.