Deep retrofit projects ‚may be too costly for Green Deal’

The overall cost of carrying out deep retrofit projects to boost the energy efficiency of older buildings across the UK may surpass the threshold for the Green Deal, it has been revealed.

Research carried out by the Technology Strategy Board as part of its Retrofit for the Future demonstration programme showed how the UK supply chain for green materials and workers trained in energy-efficient improvements is underdeveloped, meaning costs in the sector are considerably higher than they could be.

"The findings identify a number of areas where focus and investment could help scale up domestic retrofit to the levels needed. These include supply chain capacity, occupant engagement and retrofit project management practices," commented Institute for Sustainability chief executive Ian Short.

As a result of the present lack of preparedness, the report claimed the costs associated with significant investment in home insulation and other energy efficiency improvements may exceed the likely expenditure limits for the Green Deal, meaning the scheme will be useless in these cases.

This is despite the fact the government has made green retrofitting one of its top priorities over the coming years, with Westminster keen to see up to 14 million homes receive insulation improvements in order to help the coalition meet its targets for carbon reduction for 2020.

The news follows recent calls from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) for the delivery of more far-reaching energy efficiency initiatives from the government.
FMB chief executive Brian Berry argued that the UK property sector represents 27 per cent of the annual output of CO2 in the UK and therefore this is one area where improvements need to be made.

He stated: "It’s becoming ever more apparent that the government’s Green Deal retrofit initiative is not going to deliver the transformational change that is needed, which is why we need a range of incentives to promote energy efficiency."

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