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A Fair Green Deal

First paper in a series identifying options for the future of fuel poverty policy

(With support from Eaga)

Energy efficiency policy and fuel poverty programmes are experiencing their biggest ever shake-up. The high ambitions for the untested Green Deal finance package, the full overhaul of the Supplier Obligation alongside the winding down of Warm Front, and the introduction of an incentive for renewable heat combine to form a sea change in how energy efficiency and fuel poverty objectives are financed and delivered. There is uncertainty around each new programme, as well as how they combine into a coherent strategy for energy efficiency that will succeed where previous programmes have failed to stem the dramatic increase in the number of fuel poor households.

It is against this backdrop that this paper – the first in a series identifying options for the future of fuel poverty policy – examines the potential for ensuring Green Deal finance is flexible enough to be accessible and beneficial to fuel poor and low income households.

The paper applies the principle of fairness to the Green Deal, and develops a concept for Green Deal finance repayments to be uniquely adjusted and supported where necessary to ensure that every household might genuinely consider a Green Deal offer as attractive and stand to gain from it. It proposes a mechanism that targets assistance effectively and can leverage the value of energy savings from fuel poor households where available. It assesses how this stacks up financially across all fuel poor households and addresses searching questions on comfort-taking, the costs of delivery and administration, information requirements and changing household circumstances under such a scheme.

The report concludes that it is crucial to ensure that the legislation which enables the Green Deal is designed flexibly enough to encourage and facilitate modifications to the scheme such as those we put forward in this paper. We cannot afford to miss our fuel poverty targets, and as such we have to take the opportunity to extend the Green Deal’s reach to those less well off.

Download full report here

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