CIED gives evidence on energy efficiency to the House of Commons

Centre for Innovation and Energy Demand Senior Research Fellow, Dr Jan Rosenow, has been invited as an expert witness to the House of Commons’ Public Accounts Committee, which has launched an inquiry into the Green Deal and the Energy Company Obligation (ECO). He will give oral evidence on May 11 to the House of Commons for the third time within the last six months.

The Green Deal was launched as a flagship energy efficiency policy instrument to help households finance energy efficiency improvements through private loans. The programme’s loan repayments are attached to the electricity meter, with households paying back their loans through their reduced fuel bills. ECO was the seventh phase of the Energy Efficiency Obligations scheme, which was started in the UK in 1994, to get companies to carry out measures to reduce consumer’s energy consumption.

The Public Accounts Committee’s inquiry follows a publication on the Green Deal and ECO by the National Audit Office (NAO), an independent body that scrutinises public spending for Parliament, which concluded that “the Green Deal has not achieved value for money. The scheme, which cost taxpayers £240 million, including grants to stimulate demand, has not generated additional energy savings.” The scheme was closed in 2015 after only 15,000 homes had taken part because it did not successfully persuade householders that energy efficiency measures were worth paying for.

Furthermore, the NAO stresses that the Green Deal and ECO have only delivered 30 percent of what previous programmes achieved in terms of energy savings. A key piece of evidence for this, and the only piece of academic work cited by the NAO, is a paper by Dr Jan Rosenow and Dr Nick Eyre from Oxford University.

“The introduction of the Green Deal, which was meant to revolutionise and transform energy efficiency, resulted in a collapse of the domestic energy efficiency market. This is perhaps ironic, but was not unexpected to informed observers” says Dr Jan Rosenow. “The introduction of the Green Deal also led to Energy Efficiency Obligations being focused in areas in which they were less immediately effective, with the result that the energy-saving targets have now been substantially reduced.”

Jan Rosenow has also recently provided evidence at the Energy and Climate Change Committee’s inquiry into home energy efficiency and demand reduction and the inquiry by the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Private Rented Sector into energy efficiency. CIED is currently researching ways for increasing energy efficiency in the UK through finance, Energy Efficiency Obligations, fuel poverty programmes and effective energy efficiency policy mixes.

Read the full report: The Green Deal and the Energy Company Obligation.