In December 2021, the Public Accounts Committee published a report on the Green Homes Grant, detailing how it had ‘underperformed badly”, upgrading only about 47,500 homes out of the 600,000 originally envisaged and delivering a small fraction of the expected jobs.
The NIA is pleased to see that the Government has this week published its response to the report, acknowledging its shortfalls and detailing its plans for improving the design and delivery of future schemes. It is particularly promising to see that the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has recognised the need for greater liaison with industry and consumers in future programme design.
The NIA remains committed to working closely and collaboratively with BEIS and will continue to share the views and considerable experience of members in supporting the design and implementation of future schemes.
- BEIS accepts the implementation time was unrealistic, and has secured HMT agreement to roll committed spend for the Home Upgrade Grant into future tax years. This is important because it allows them to smooth over peaks and troughs in demand without having to hand it’s in year cash back unspent and the end of the financial year.
- They accept the scheme was overly complex, which they blame on being forced to roll it out so quickly (having no rollover flexibility). They also accept they need to ensure more meaningful engagement with industry and consumers in future programme design.
- They will introduce a more rigorous assessment procedure for appointing contractors to run future schemes.
- They agree they didn’t learn lessons from previous energy efficiency schemes, and have committed to an independent evaluation which will be published in August 2023 and shared with all relevant officials. They claim they have already involved more than 100 officials in a lessons learnt project from HMT, No 10 and elsewhere. They have also set up a new programme to increase the department’s capacity to deliver major projects.
- BEIS also notes in its response that one of their KPIs to No 10 is the improvement in the number of EPC Cs, on which they have to report on annually. Which should put pressure on them to find ways to make a difference.
To read the response in full, click here.
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