Green scheme not working? Then increase the subsidy!

Poorly insulated home? You should pay more council tax
Reduced council tax payments and lowered stamp duty for efficient properties will encourage home owners to take up the Government\’s Green Deal policy, a new report has claimed.

That\’s all this is. A slightly and lightly disguised method of increasing the subsidy to this scheme.

Paul King, chief executive of the UK Green Building Council, said: “This sends a powerful message to Government that there are viable policy options available to boost demand for the Green Deal and help tackle the UK’s energy efficiency crisis. The research shows not only the impact additional incentives would have on carbon savings, but how they could breathe new life into the construction sector and boost economic growth.

\”There are some tough political choices to be made, not least in using the tax regime to nudge householders into action, but the opportunities for UK Plc are just so great, that this is a nettle which needs to be grasped.”

Yes, lovely. But that\’s not actually the question, is it?

We need to go back to the original cost benefit analysis. How much money will be saved over time, yes including the costs of carbon emissions, against the cost of doing the scheme. This was worked out, in however lackadaisical a fashion, before the scheme was launched. Now you\’re saying that it requires more subsidy. OK, that\’s fine, that\’s an argument we can have.

But to have that argument we need to go back to that original cost benefit analysis, add in this new and extra subsidy, and then see if the benefits are still greater than the costs. I wouldn\’t be so sure they are myself but that is indeed what should be done.

9 comments on “Green scheme not working? Then increase the subsidy!

  1. The reason that so few people sign up to the Green Deal is that it’s a shit deal that only a moron would sign up to.

    Thus the watermelons typical refrain is, well the carrot didn’t work, so we must have the stick!

    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
    C.S. Lewis

  2. Who are the UK Green Building Council anyway? Who pays for them? Are they part of the state, or a lobby group, or some type of state-charity chimera? Neither Wikipedia, nor their own website goes out of its way to make this question clear.

  3. Heavens these people annoy me.
    There are indeed some things that can make a profound difference to home insulation & as a result, energy use. Loft insulation, maybe double glazing. but after that it’s all incremental in rapidly decreasing numbers. You could spend a lot of money putting in draft excluders, but the total area of air exchange reduced totals probably less than the ventilation brick in the nearby wall. So slapping a bit of tape over that could have the same benefit. And most of it completely ignores that folks actually live in houses. Leave the door open while they’re putting the cat out. Don’t always remember to close the bathroom window after a “Christ that was a strong curry, last night!” event. The snugger the house is, the more careless they’ll be. It’s human nature. Or to be more technical, the cost/benefit ratio of the personal energy expenditure required to live in an energy efficient manner isn’t favourable

  4. And you can see this, every winter’s evening, driving through town. Couple generations ago, most houses had heavy curtains that were pulled at dusk. keep the house warm. Now they’ve double glazing & lightweight curtains they leave open all evening. The nett result’s about the same..

  5. You couldn’t make this up : http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-23180965

    Temperatures could soar to dangerously high levels in some homes insulated under the government’s flagship Green Deal scheme, experts have warned.

    Energy-saving measures designed to save on winter fuel bills and protect the environment could pose a risk to health during summer heatwaves, they add.

  6. Natalie: it’s an umbrella group, founded by a bunch of companies as a registered charity, and presumably run by various worthies from those companies. See http://www.ukgbc.org/content/founding-members for the kind of idea. And, um, bear in mind Adam Smith’s observation about men of like trade meeting together for merriment and diversion.

    NT: before you go any further, please allow me to request no further information on your ex-girlfriend’s johnnies. ;-)

  7. Between which parties was this ‘Green Deal’ arranged? Did taxpayers have any say in the matter other than the Hobson’s choice of voting for the identikit pickpockets who make up the Establishment?

  8. Evil as Council Tax thieving is already, I suspect that attempts to use it as a means to force obedience to a political agenda might bring a successful legal challenge, even in today’s UK. Because it would set a very nasty precident for using council thieving for political pressure.

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