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Deal or no deal? The sceptics need answers

Construction minister Mark Prisk says he’s going to convince sceptics - inside and outside the industry - of the business case for sustainable construction.

This is an admirable pledge and the only way to fundamentally and permanently change behaviour, but it is no small task.

And he might want to make sure his colleagues in the Department of Energy and Climate Change are with him on this one.

While the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills where Mr Prisk sits has this week finally announced the full membership of the Green Construction Board, the clamour of the industry’s calls for the DECC to get the details right on the Green Deal is becoming more of a din.

‘Disaster’ is not a word used lightly, but it is coming up again and again in reference to the potential for the Green Deal to go badly wrong. Contractors, installers, retrofitters and product manufacturers are all losing faith.

Meanwhile, homeowners do not even realise this opportunity to green their homes is looming. The likely delay of the Green Deal consultation, originally due to be published today, is not helping.

The DECC needs to publish sooner rather than later and make sure the paper gives full details of the way accreditation will work, its expectations over energy prices, the products to be covered by the deal and the means, marketing and mechanisms for incentivising take-up.

No wonder Mr Prisk says it was the first topic to come up at the Green Construction Board’s inaugural meeting.


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