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Minister hints at fresh incentives for Green Deal

Climate change minister Greg Barker has urged the industry to support the Green Deal, but stressed further incentives and penalties will be needed to support the scheme in future.

After the recent furore over changes to the Feed-in Tariff rates, Mr Barker said the Green Deal scheme would be adapted to fit consumer demand, during a call for business support on Monday.

Speaking at the sustainable construction training centre SusCon in Dartford on Monday, Mr Barker said more incentives would be introduced, as well as penalties “where it doesn’t work”.

He said: “We will have a framework with more incentives in years to come. At the moment we don’t know how the consumer will respond and we won’t know until it is launched.

“We believe governments will be committed to this in future and it is about further encouragement to drive it forwards.”

Asked by CN whether the potential for unknown “new incentives and penalties” would deflate business confidence, Mr Barker said the aim was to ensure the scheme worked long term.

Asked for more details, a DECC spokeswoman said the “penalties” referred to consumer protection.

She said the DECC was working on a “clear path for redress for the customer too in case things do go wrong”, which would form part of the government’s response to the Green Deal consultation due out next month.

Mr Barker pointed to the 22 Green Deal providers as evidence that major contractors will want to be involved in the scheme, with Carillion and Willmott Dixon among the big names.

He admitted it was “not usual” to brief the prime minister and deputy PM on the scheme as he did earlier this month, but insisted their enthusiasm, not concern, was the reason for the meeting.

“The Prime Minister was very clear that he expects us to put 110 per cent into this. It is not usual to have a meeting at that level but it showed the level of support there for what is a flagship policy scheme,” he said.

Mr Barker added that the Green Deal Finance Company was “in the front running” for finance from the Green Investment Bank for funding Green Deal schemes.

Skanska, Kier Energy Solutions, Keepmoat and the Construction Products Association were among 21 new organisations to join the finance company this week.

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