01 October 2012
Green Deal misses a trick?
As the Government’s Green Deal launches today, is it missing a trick by ignoring what accounts for 20 per cent of our home energy usage? Electricals! Installing double-glazing could cost as much as £6,500 and save you £165 per year, compared to replacing an old chest freezer for £300 and switching off electricals from standby, saving you as much as £186 per year. No need for a loan!
Ross Lammas from the energy saving website Sust-it, said, “It’s crazy that you can borrow funds from the Green Deal, (paid back against future inflated electricity bills) to insulate your loft, replace your boiler or fit double-glazing, but still run an energy guzzling 25 year old chest freezer, which could cost as much as you’d save by fitting double-glazing. Why hasn’t some mechanism been found to scrap inefficient appliances in the Green Deal? And why aren’t appliances included in the energy assessment process?”
Of course, insulating our inefficient housing stock has to be a priority and will deliver CO2 savings. However, even when you give away insulation, take up is low, as the energy companies’ lack of progress on CERT has shown. Energy efficiency and energy conservation messages mustn’t be lost. Electrical appliances and the behaviour associated with energy usage are part of the whole picture.
The environmental think-tank the Green Alliance has called for a national communications strategy on energy use. A carefully crafted, well-branded strategy is needed – one that balances the messages of climate change and saving money - without frightening small children or preaching that ‘the end of the world is nigh’. The UK has a wealth of research on energy usage and how behaviours need to change; - It’s time to join it altogether and get real with the Green Deal.