The Green Deal is considered to be a huge disappointment, however, there is a new mass retrofit initiative that is slowly building support. This new initiative, which began in the Netherlands, has made its way to the United Kingdom and has gained support among contractors.
The Green Deal was abandoned by the Conservative government earlier this year. This government scheme was originally set up to help homeowners pay for double-glazing, solid wall insulation, boiler upgrades and other projects that would help save homeowners money on energy bills. Unfortunately, the Green Deal was not effective.
With the funding now pulled on the Green Deal, the UK has been searching for a plan to retrofit the country’s existing housing stock. The Netherlands think they have the solution to this problem. They have tackled the issue by following these four principles:
1) Provide high quality, warranted, guaranteed energy performance
2) Use non-intrusive methods, so that refurbishments are all carried out within one week
3) Maintain affordability, with the retrofit financeable from energy cost savings
4) Improve the look and feel of the house overall
The third principle — the concept of paying for energy efficiency upgrades via savings made on energy bills — may look similar to the underlying principle of the Green Deal, however, that is where the similarities end. Under this initiative, energy bills are replaced by an energy plan, with the loan repayments included.
“The main reason the Green Deal didn’t work is that it wasn’t particularly green or a deal in a commercial sense, because there was no energy performance contract,” stated Arno Schmickler, Energiesprong UK programme director.
This new initiative has achieved a great deal of success thus far in the Netherlands with social housing. The United Kingdom plans to follow in these footsteps.
Energiesprong has retrofitted almost 1,000 homes to date, with a total of 110,000 planned already. They are intently focused on targeting social housing within the UK.
“We’ve started working with the social housing providers because they manage over the long term, with 100-year perspectives on their properties, and have asset management strategies of 25 to 30 years,” Schmickler says.
This initiative is still in the early stages and only time will tell if this strategy will prove to be more successful than the Green Deal. Energiesprong believes that there is a great deal of promise and potential and if they can achieve economies of scale by working on appropriate property types.
If Energiesprong proves to be successful, many people in the UK stand to benefit from lower energy costs and society as a whole will be a step closer to a more sustainable planet.
To learn more about this new retrofit initiative, check out this article.