Commercial green deal delayed

24th May 2012


Decc

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IEMA

Companies hoping to take advantage of the green deal to finance energy-efficiency measures will not be able to apply for funding when the scheme launches this autumn

Despite being consistently labelled as an initiative to help both businesses and homeowners, DECC has now confirmed the commercial side of the green deal will not roll out alongside the domestic scheme due to start in October.

A DECC representative told the environmentalist the delay was to allow regulators and firms offering green deal services time to address additional complexities thrown up by applying the scheme to commercial properties, for example where a business is billed for multiple sites, but only improves one.

“We want to make sure that when we launch something it is right and it’s ready to be used,” said the spokesperson.

While agreeing that holding off until there is clarity is sensible, Tom Nolan from the British Chamber of Commerce said that the delay could have been avoided. “If DECC had put the same amount of thought into how to apply the scheme for businesses as [it] did for households, then they would be in a position to launch it,” he said.

According to Nolan, the delay highlights a bigger issue of how the government is communicating the scheme.

“The number of firms that know about the green deal and what it offers them is very low. The government has a huge task ahead to raise awareness, because it’s the best policy measure out there to help small and medium-sized firms improve their energy efficiency.”

The postponement will affect medium-sized firms most, as small firms operating from homes will qualify for the domestic scheme. DECC is yet to confirm the length of the delay, but states the commercial green deal will start soon after the homeowner scheme.

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