Green Deal advertising drive ‘completely inadequate’

Marketing for the Green Deal is under-funded compared with the proportions of budgets allocated to marketing by large retailers, according to Travis Perkins' Matthew Wright.

Talking at Sustainability Live in Birmingham today, Wright said his company “desperately” needed to see some more communication and publicity surrounding the Government’s flagship energy efficiency retrofit scheme.

“It is just completely inadequate. They have spent £10m and if you think how much Tesco and John Lewis spend on their advertising, it is insignificant, it is a drop in the ocean,” he said.

He added: “It is at least a figure of ten short of what any of the DIY retailers are spending. If they wish to create a market which private companies are going to invest in, they have got to put the money up, they have got to create the market and without that, it is going to be a really slow uphill struggle.”

Speaking at the same event, trade association Micro power Council’s (MPC) policy advisor Emma Pinchbeck said that although her organisation supported the scheme, she didn’t think the Green Deal was delivering for consumers at the moment.

Pinchbeck argued that public interest had increased significantly since the official launch of the Green Deal in January but she was sceptical whether this interest had been converted into actual deals.

“We know there are lots of assessments, we know the supply chain is gearing up, but we don’t know how many deals have been done. I can’t really tell you how much of this interest is turning into results. When the Government does not announce numbers, I tend to think it is bad news,” she said.

In addition, she said it was “incredibly frustrating” that the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme for domestic properties had been delayed by a year, (link) arguing that the Green Deal and RHI could have worked in tandem but it was difficult if some policies were delayed while others went ahead.

Conor McGlone

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