A lot has been made in the media and in politics that the Green Deal has not taken off and there are suggestions from some quarters that it should be scrapped.
Readers of this blog will know about my own criticism and issues encountered with the Green Deal for my own house.
So far there are ’12 Green Deal Plans’, which I understand are the households currently having had their measures installed, but 677 were in the system since the end of August. This would exclude our GD plan and many others presumably.
As time progresses, more plans will have been installed; but these numbers are still in stark contrast with the 71,000 GD assessments so far undertaken. Though this disjunct may be partially explained by the fact that the figures above do not include householders choosing to act outside the GD.
More impressively however is that by the end of July there had been ~ 196,000 ECO measured installed, benefiting 173,000 households. Most of this was loft insulation(40%), cavity wall(34%) and boiler upgrades(21%) with just 4% solid wall insulation installations, as is illustrated in DECC's graph below.
Reducing carbon emissions associated with domestic space heating is a key aspect to meet the UK Government’s overall emission reduction targets of 80% from 1990 levels by 2050 (Crown, 2008). Given that 7.8 million of 26.7 million dwellings in Great Britain are solid walled dwellings (DECC, 2012) and roughly 98% have un-insulated walls (DECC, 2012); the number of solid wall installations is particularly disappointing.
To meet the ambitious carbon reduction targets set by Government in the Climate change Act, almost all such dwellings will need to be upgraded, yet while ploughing through literature, it struck me how little we actually know about the existing housing stock, and in particular pre-1919, solid walled dwellings.
The STBA (May, 2012) highlight the lack of knowledge and the potential increased risk for unintended consequences to occur with damage to the building fabric, if we are not careful. Gauging from industry interest in my own PhD research on pre-1919 suspended timber ground floor heatloss and insulation measures, I am aware that industry will need answers much faster than the time it takes to collect evidence.
Perhaps the slow green deal uptake is a blessing in disguise? Rather than rolling out measures on a large scale, there is the benefit of a slower uptake to learn lessons and for industry and academia to collect evidence of associated risks and how to minimise them.
CROWN 2008. Climate Change Act 2008: Elizabeth II ( Chapter 27) 2008. Great Britain: The Stationary Office Limited.
DECC 2012. Statistical release: Experimental Statistics; Estimates of home insulation levels in Great Britain: January 2012. In: CHANGE, D. O. E. C. (ed.). London: Department of Energy & Climate Change.
MAY, N., RYE C 2012. Responsible Retrofit of Traditional Buildings. A report on existing research and guidance with recommendations by STBA.
This is Sofie's blog; or rather a collection of musings & articles sometimes also published elsewhere. More about Sofie here.