Government’s Green Deal May Be Out Of Reach For Islanders

hugh town from BuzzaWith some of the least energy-efficient housing stock in the country, the Isles of Scilly should be a prime target for the government’s new scheme to cut energy use.

But one again, it seems that our isolated location is proving a disadvantage.

The government launched its flagship Green Deal programme earlier this year.

It provides loans for people to install energy efficient equipment, such as new boilers, as well as insulation to reduce heating requirements.

The money is repaid via your utility bill and there’s a guarantee that loan payments will never exceed the amount of money you’ve saved by upgrading your home.

The Council’s Climate Change Officer, David Senior, says it means people can pay for improvements without having a big cash outlay upfront.

It stays with the house, so if the home is sold, the new owner takes on the payment, but also gets the benefit of the work.

The problem is that the initial survey and the installation of the energy-efficiency measures needs to be done by a company registered on the scheme, and there are none based here in Scilly.

David says in some ways, it could work well on the islands.

Tenants can take advantage of the loans, with their landlord’s agreement, because they’re paying the money back through their energy bills, while still benefitting from the reductions in energy usage.

But he admits that the complexity could put people off. Up to four different organisations can be involved in the survey, installation and financing.

David says the Council wants to promote the availability of the scheme, and if enough people show an interest, they might be able to make it worthwhile for one of the companies to visit the islands.

For more information, check out the Green Deal website or contact David Senior at the Council.