On the news that the Green Deal has installed 1,000 measures I thought that I would have a look at what they are actually doing.
I was pleased to see that the bulk of what is being done is really quite standard and unlikely to cause damage to the housing stock. Most of the work is changing people’s boilers to more efficient ones (37%) and also the related improved heating controls (15%) and hot water tank insulation (9%). Then there is the standard stuff like loft and cavity wall insulation (10%). The only real surprise was that people are having photo-voltaic systems installed as well (16%). The high interest rate associated with the green deal would counteract the financial benefit accrued by the Feed in Tariff, so one must assume that people are doing it for all the right reasons (ie to cut carbon emissions and to localise energy production).
Not too many people are doing solid wall insulation (14%), so this is reassuring, especially since most of the activity in this area is being completed on more recent solid walls rather than the pre-1919 types. Working on concrete walls is much less risky than brick and stone walls.
So even though I am not a fan of the Green Deal, due to all the issues of the poor advice generated by the software, the cost of the loans and the inaccurate financial projections given, it does have a use. Where people cannot afford the capital for ‘improvements’ this is a way of giving people access to the money to make some positive changes. So even if the measures prove not to be cost effective for the recipients (although with the price rises recently announced even the poor calculations given might find a ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ card) at least there are some apparent carbon reductions for the rest of us.