The Royal Institute for British Architects (RIBA) has today raised concerns that significant obstacles need to be resolved in order for the government's flagship Green Deal energy efficiency scheme to work in practice.
Anna Scott-Marshall, RIBA Head of External Affairs, said:
'The RIBA wholeheartedly supports the ambitious aims of the Green Deal, to lower the carbon emissions of our existing building stock, lift more families out of fuel poverty, improve the design of our homes and workplaces and grow our green economy.
We want the Green Deal to work; however, in order to stop it failing at the first hurdle the government needs to ensure that the outstanding issues raised in the consultation are tackled.
The RIBA will continue to work alongside government and all other stakeholders in order to get the best deal for the British public.'
The main items raised by the RIBA in its consultation response to the Department for Energy and Climate Change are that:
The scheme must deliver an integrated approach to the installation of energy efficiency measures, which will require Green Deal project managers.
Vulnerable historic and traditional older buildings should be identified and given skilled specialist attention to find the most appropriate solutions.
Consumer protection is vital to ensure consumer confidence in the scheme. We believe that consumer-facing guidance is needed to deal with issues around the consents that must be obtained - such as planning permission - before measures can be installed. The impartiality of advice given to consumers must not be at risk.
We believe Green Deal funding must be delivered in ways that maximise initial take-up and that create solutions to incentivise long-term take-up.
The Green Deal needs performance targets and performance monitoring - particularly around carbon emissions - to ensure that it delivers.
The design of Energy Company Obligation needs to be reconsidered, to ensure that it delivers the right measures to the right people, in particular the social housing sector.