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After the Green Deal: Empowering people and places to improve their homes

Publication Details

ResPublica, in partnership with Age UK, The Mineral Wool Insulation Manufacturers Association and the Energy Bill Revolution, sets out a bold set of recommendations for energy efficiency policy.

Britain’s energy efficiency policy has failed. Under the Green Deal there was a sharp decline in the number of consumers retrofitting their homes. We need a bold new policy framework to reverse this trend and create a flourishing energy efficiency market for consumers and industry.

To achieve this we need to move away from the top-down messaging of the Green Deal and craft a bespoke offer which taps into the multitude of factors which motivate people to improve their homes. This approach should include messaging aimed at improving comfort, control and wellbeing.

In keeping with ResPublica’s commitment to devolve power to people and places, we call for number of revenue streams to be devolved to city regions. These include stamp duty, land tax, revenue generated from low carbon taxes and levies and infrastructure funds.

The policy recommendations in this report outline a series of changes to re-energise the energy efficiency market, by engaging consumers, driving demand and effectively enabling people to improve their homes.



Angus MacNeil MP, Chair of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee, said:

“Improving the energy efficiency of our homes can help to create warm homes and reduce bills for consumers. ResPublica’s report sets out an ambitious programme to replace the Green Deal and revive the UK’s faltering energy efficiency market. It should receive serious consideration from across the political spectrum.”


Caroline Abrahams, Age UK’s charity director, said:

“This report looks at some fresh and original options to encourage households to adopt energy efficiency measures, as well as overcoming the significant barriers, not least the inevitable domestic disruption the work will entail – a key issue for older people. As we approach another winter, the problem of how to keep warm without breaking the bank continues to be at the forefront of many older people’s minds – swift and innovative action is needed to ensure that cold and leaky homes are fixed once and for all.”

Mayor George Ferguson, Bristol City Council, Core Cities Lead for Low Carbon Energy and Resilience Portfolio, said:

“We as Core Cities are committed to improving the energy efficiency of the UK’s housing stock and believe that it is essential for government to now embrace new ideas put forward by industry, exemplified by some of the policy initiatives suggested in ResPublica’s report. 

The Core Cities’ priority is to develop sustainable and stable business models for the delivery of energy efficiency measures. This has to be based on joint working between the private and public sector: the private sector to develop innovation and investment in products, plant and skills in conjunction with the public sector managing the relationship with households.

Delivery should focus on deprived hard to insulate households in fuel poverty, in order to generate additional health and social benefits using capital from the UK infra-structure fund.  Recent experience has shown that the energy efficiency industry is very vulnerable when it is reliant upon grant funding and changing government initiatives.  To give industry the durability it needs to invest in a way that will ultimately reduce costs, we believe that responsibility linked to minor changes in the use of land charges, together with infra-structure funding, should be devolved to capable Core Cities to set up locally relevant offers.

We welcome the thrust of the ResPublica report and look forward to ongoing discussions with government to devolve ambitious energy efficiency targets to Core Cities.”

Sarah Kostense-Winterton, Executive Director of the Mineral Wool Insulation Manufacturers Association, said:

“The Government is rightly rethinking energy efficiency and Energy Secretary, Amber Rudd has called on industry to work with government to deliver a structure that provides value for money to the exchequer, tackles the priority issues of fuel poverty and carbon reduction and empowers consumers to keep their bills down. Respublica’s recommendations do just that. 

This year provides a clear opportunity for the Government to build a long term, stable energy efficiency policy that delivers for UK’s consumers. This should start by recognising that our homes form an essential part of our national infrastructure. Investment in this infrastructure will bring real economic benefits to the UK – in both boosting UK productivity and significant job creation, as well as energy security.

It is clear from ResPublica’s recommendations that any successful government policy must have two vital elements – both the engagement of consumers but also enabling them to improve their homes, to keep their bills down and homes warm. 

MIMA firmly supports proposals for lower stamp duty to be offered to homeowners and landlords with the more energy efficient properties.

This scheme would be revenue neutral, and would ensure that those purchasing properties have a clear indicator when looking to buy. We also agree that low interest loans for energy efficiency improvements would be beneficial with area or regional based approaches helping to warm up the homes of the fuel poor, boosting health and wellbeing and reducing health and social costs.

We urge the government to embrace the policy recommendations outlined in this report and commit to investing in delivering better homes and better lives.”

Dr Jan Rosenow, Senior Research Fellow at the Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand (CIED) based at SPRU, University of Sussex, said:

“Energy efficiency policy is currently in limbo with the Green Deal effectively terminated. Government has announced that it will design a new value-for-money energy efficiency retrofit scheme in the coming months, in addition the House of Commons launched an inquiry into the failure of previous policies to deliver. This ResPublica report feeds into the ongoing discussion and sets out a bold vision for energy efficiency retrofits. The recommendations in the ResPublica report are based on engaging with people beyond finance, driving demand at scale and enabling households to upgrade their homes.”

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Green Alliance
  • Richard Sagar

    Senior Policy and Projects Officer

    Richard joined ResPublica in June 2014, having previously worked for environmental NGOs and trade associations. Prior to that he was a postgraduate in philosophy, with a particular interest in the philosophy of cognitive science, epistemology and the philosophy of religion....

    Richard Sagar
  • Dr Jan Rosenow

    Research Associate

    Jan is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand (CIED) based at SPRU, University of Sussex and a Visiting Research Associate at the Environmental Change Institute, Oxford University. He is also the Knowledge Leader for...

    Dr Jan Rosenow


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