Warning over Green Deal's technology focus

A warning that the Green Deal may not make savings claimed for it because the scheme focuses too much on technology and not enough on people's behaviour, has come from the National Trust.
Talking to environmental environmental website edie, Malcolm Anderson, environmental practices adviser for the National Trust, said that locating high energy consumption and maintaining a property should be the first steps to becoming a more energy efficient building.

'The first thing is to understand where your energy is being used and this doesn't require hoards of hugely qualified Green Deal assessors rummaging around historical buildings. There is real basic stuff here around understanding where the energy is being used in the property and actually looking at controls on boilers and at the very basic stuff.'

He added that making simple repairs, such as external decoration and draught proofing, are measures that can significantly reduce energy consumption without the need for expensive systems.

'We don't always need significant physical interventions in the building fabric; it's more about taking care of the little things such as making repairs to doors and windows and monitoring our timers and controls.'

According to the Government, the Green Deal financial mechanism eliminates the need to pay upfront for energy efficiency measures and instead provides 'reassurances that the cost of the measures should be covered by savings on the electricity bill'.

However, Mr Anderson pointed out that the scheme currently relies too heavily on the introduction of technology and energy efficient systems and lacks a focus on behavioural change.

'The thing that worries me about the Green Deal is that they're throwing technology at buildings without tackling what people do in the buildings'.

'We have to hope that lessons will be learnt as the Green Deal develops and that more emphasis can be put on behavioural factors in the future. As fuel costs continue to spiral, it may be that achieving behavioural change becomes easier.'

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1 November 2012


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