First green deal plan in place
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After seven months and more than 58,000 assessments just one home has completed the green deal process, reveals Decc statistics
Between 28 January and the end of July, 58,124 green deal assessments were completed, but just one domestic property has had energy-efficiency measures installed and started repaying its loan, according to the latest monthly update from the energy department.
The government’s flagship energy-efficiency programme offers homeowners and businesses the ability to finance work improving the energy efficiency of their building – such as fitting insulation or installing ground-source heat pumps – and repay the funds through savings on the property’s energy bills.
Decc data confirm, however, that uptake is low and appears to be stagnating. In July, just 16 new green deal plans were initiated, compared with 172 in June.
Of the 419 green plans in progress at the end of July, 286 plans were agreed in principle, 132 were pending awaiting the installation of measures and just one was live.
After dramatic increases in the number of assessment being completed each month over the first months of the scheme, from 1,729 in February to 12,146 in May, June and July saw the number stabilise at around 13,500 a month.
Uptake of the scheme by companies is potentially being hampered by a lack of finance. A spokesperson for the Green Deal Finance Company told the environmentalist this month that: “As far as we are aware there are no providers currently financing non-domestic green deals.”
The green deal was created to help reduce carbon emissions from the UK’s existing building stock in line with the government’s legally binding CO2 reduction targets. In 2011, buildings accounted for about 35% of the country’s total carbon footprint.
The data from Decc came as the communities department outlined its proposal to scrap the code for sustainable homes. The national standard outlines requirements for new build homes relating to energy performance, water consumption and pollution.
In launching a consultation on proposals to streamline standards for house building, potentially by incorporating them into the building regulations, the government confirms it plans to “wind down the role of the code” and put in place arrangements to ensure that contractual commitments entered into under the code can be met.
The consultation, which closes on 22 October, outlines the government’s plans to reduce the number of housing standards from more than 100 to fewer than 10 and reduce the number of pages of guidance from 1,500 to 80, in line with its drive to cut “redtape”.
In Elliott-Smith v Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the claimant applied for judicial review of the legality of the defendants’ joint decision to create the UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS) as a substitute for UK participation in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS).
None of England’s water and sewerage companies achieved all environmental expectations for the period 2015 to 2020, the Environment Agency has revealed. These targets included the reduction of total pollution incidents by at least one-third compared with 2012, and for incident self-reporting to be at least 75%.
Global greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture are projected to increase by 4% over the next 10 years, despite the carbon intensity of production declining. That is according to a new report from the UN food agency and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which forecasts that 80% of the increase will come from livestock.
Half of consumers worldwide now consider the sustainability of food and drink itself, not just its packaging, when buying, a survey of 14,000 shoppers across 18 countries has discovered. This suggests that their understanding of sustainability is evolving to include wellbeing and nutrition, with sustainable packaging now considered standard.
Billions of people worldwide have been unable to access safe drinking water and sanitation in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a progress report from the World Health Organisation focusing on the UN’s sixth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 6) – to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030”.
New jobs that help drive the UK towards net-zero emissions are set to offer salaries that are almost one-third higher than those in carbon-intensive industries, research suggests.
IEMA has today urged the UK government to focus on developing green skills and expertise across business, industry and civil society following the publication of an alarming report from the Climate Change Committee (CCC).