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YouGen press release

Poll reveals Government is on the wrong track with Green Deal

Posted on 23 August 2010 at 10:50 am

The Government is talking to big national retailers about delivering the Green Deal, yet a new poll reveals that 84% of people would trust locally-based, specialist suppliers more than national retailers such as M&S, Tesco (15%).

The idea for the poll came from Greg Barker’s saying that “the other exciting thing about the green deal is that it is not just reliant on the big six energy companies, which have mixed reputations, but brings in some of our most trusted high street retailers and brands, such as Marks and Spencer and Tesco, which have strong degrees of consumer trust,”  during the energy efficiency debate at the end of June.

“I was really concerned when I heard that,” says YouGen founder Cathy Debenham. “Yes, the big brands have got consumer trust. But that’s for selling food, or clothes, or DIY products. Retrofitting existing housing to make it more energy efficient isn’t a pile it high, sell it cheap business. Every house is different, as is the way people live in them. These things have to be taken into consideration and consumers need expert advice on the best solution for their circumstances.

“Past grant schemes for insulation have tended to be one dimensional, with little regard for choice. It’s mineral wool or nothing under most of them. I hope that the Green Deal, which has a much more ambitious reach in terms of numbers covered, will also offer householders choice as to products and measures – as long as they meet the goals of reducing carbon emissions and reducing the total energy bill. This will need the involvement of local and specialist companies, as well as the big national ones.

“Not only will this offer choice, but it also will help boost local businesses to provide the green jobs that Nick Clegg was talking about last week, and give consumers some peace of mind. The reputation of smaller, local companies depends on word of them delivering good service, and word soon gets out if they don’t. The nationals are much more likely to sub-contract the work losing the level of accountability for customers.“

Notes to editors:

YouGen is an independent website for people interested in installing renewable energy.

Visitors to YouGen’s website were asked:
“Which would you trust more to advise on and install energy efficiency or renewable measures in you house?
15% voted for national retailers such as M&S, Tesco or B&Q
84% voted for locally-based specialist companies
194 people voted in the poll which ran from 14 July.

“The Green Deal will allow householders to enjoy the benefits of efficiency measures and the energy bill savings they can bring, without the need for providing their own up-front finance. Green Deal customers will be entitled to an independent assessment of their home’s energy efficiency, and improvements will be carried out by kite-marked installers. Detailed proposals will be laid out in a Bill in the autumn, and we expect this to be available from 2012.” (source Cabinet Office press office 19 August 2010)

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