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Still inadequate?
The Energy Bill finished its passage through the House of Commons this week, sparking concerns that it is not fit for purpose.

According to ‘Demand a Better Bill’ the Bill will not ensure that the Green Deal is taken up by consumers.

Demand a Better Bill is an action group supported by a number of organisations – including: FMB, WWF, Christian Aid and Marks & Spencer – designed to lobby ministers adapt the Energy Bill so that it has a good chance of achieving its aims.

“At present, the Bill will fail to deliver emission reductions under the Green Deal unless further incentives are put in place,” Demand for a Better Bill said in a release. “Improving energy efficiency is a win-win for everyone in terms of lower home fuel bills and carbon emissions but the Government have not yet done enough to ensure the Green Deal is affordable and attractive to encourage uptake. There are now serious doubts about what the Green Deal will actually deliver unless further incentives are put in place. The Government needs to think big and make this a truly transformational scheme.

“To build confidence in the Green Deal among business there must be clarity on what the Green Deal aims to achieve and the Government needs to produce a plan for delivering this. Interest rates must be kept low, and the Government must introduce a suite of financial incentives such as stamp duty and council tax rebates, as well as reduced VAT on the Green Deal. Without ensuring the Green Deal is attractive, and made affordable, it will not deliver lower homes fuel bills and carbon emissions.”

A joint statement was released calling on the government to use VAT to incentivise consumer take up of the Green Deal.

Twenty six organisations – including the GGF, the British Property Federation, the UK Green Building Council, the WWF and RICS – backed the statement, which urged the Government to levy VAT at a rate of 5% for all Green Deal approved measures instead of at the higher 20% rate.

The statement was sent to MPs as they prepared to debate the final stages of the Energy Bill, which is the legislation that will introduce the Green Deal. The statement argued that a financially compelling package is needed for people to take action to improve the energy performance of their homes, and a consistent rate of 5% VAT is a logical step that will make energy efficiency measures more affordable and Green Deal packages more attractive.

All of the organisations involved believe that the government must do more to stimulate further demand in the energy saving market in order for the Green Deal to be a success.

The Bill will now be passed back to the Lords.