The government's flagship Green Deal scheme is "doomed to failure" according to Adam Mitchell, founder of national installer network Futureproof.
Mr Mitchell has argued that regulation, cost of finance plans and a lack of energy savings for homeowners means that uptake is likely to remain poor. His comments follow the publication of the latest government figures, which showed that only 33 Green Deal plans were signed in February.
“In many ways the government is a victim of doing things properly,” said Mr Mitchell. “It is important that the Green Deal is set up and delivered in a professional, regulated way, but the downside is that the costs are more expensive and therefore a lot less appealing to homeowners.
“While the cashback incentive helps, the reality is that the majority of homeowners still have to add to this out of their own pockets. Because most homeowners move on after a few years, whether upsizing or downsizing, it means they will not see any real benefits in terms of energy savings.
“There is no question that the Green Deal was launched with the best of intentions, but the reality is that it is doomed to failure and there is very little the government can do about this. Doing it less professionally and in an unregulated manner would simply open the doors to cowboy installers operating within the industry.”
Futureproof has suggested allowing householders to use the carbon they will save through the Green Deal as an offset against the funding required to implement the measures.
The company has also criticised the lack of a robust system to administer the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme. Under Mr Mitchell’s guidance, Futureproof has developed its own quality management system that he says could act as an industry-wide model to dramatically overhaul the way ECO is delivered.
“ECO is simply not working in its current format and is failing consumers and installers. The scheme is supposed to be helping some of our poorest households keep warm and become more energy efficient, while creating significant amounts of work for installers across the UK.
“While the scheme is working for some, it is clearly not working for the majority and this position will not change until proper processes and systems are put in place.”