‘The Green Deal and energy efficiency supply chain development: Policy lessons from a case study of Birmingham’, is based on the dissertation research by Anna Watson (Sussex University) which was awarded a distinction.
It recommends modifications to Green Deal policy, enabling it to make a better contribution to strengthening local economies and maximising opportunities for local supply chains.
Anna concludes with recommendations for local and national government, summarised below:
Birmingham was the first local authority to develop a Green Deal delivery programme: Birmingham Energy Savers (BES). The aim of BES was to deliver energy efficient retrofit to 60,000 households, nurture strong local supply chains, maximising the use of local businesses and so reduce unemployment.
In 2013 a British multinational facilities management and construction services company was selected to arrange household assessment and financing for recommended work from the Green Investment Bank and the installation of these improvements, working with Birmingham City Council to promote Green Deal opportunities to homeowners. However, the provider did not work with local businesses and consumers on a sufficiently significant scale to deliver sustainable market growth. There were also Green Deal policy issues around the centralisation and complexity of Green Deal financing, which retarded the development of regional energy efficiency markets.
Many involved in developing the ‘retrofit agenda’ will be moved to contact Anna, currently in Sydney, and ask for a copy of the report – in particular, the Commons Select Committee for Energy and Climate Change, which published its briefing on the subject in September.