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Green Deal delivery: Investigating Local Authority delivery models and their implementation

During this summer and as a part of my dissertation thesis I have collaborated with Bristol CityCouncil in order to investigate local authority delivery models and their implementation towards the Green Deal governmental scheme.

Background

Laying of loft insulation.  Image credit: Knauf Insulation
The Green Deal is a recent UK government finance framework introduced by the Energy Act 2011. It was formally launched on 28 January 2013 in England & Wales and on 25 February 2013 in Scotland. The Green Deal scheme has a target of reducing CO2 emissions derived from British properties through energy efficiency improvements. It provides householders and businesses an up-front capital to carry out energy efficiency improvements to their properties (e.g. wall insulation, replace boilers etc.) with repayments made through energy bills. The Local Authorities get involved in the scheme by choosing one of the following Green Deal delivery models:
Promoter. Promoting the Green Deal to their local residents through website pages, leaflets etc.
Partner. Cooperating with the private sector Green Deal Provider to facilitate delivery of the Green Deal to their local area.
Provider. Becoming a Green Deal Provider co-ordinating finance and delivery to local residents.

In this project I am interested in finding out:

  • How local authorities implement and deliver the Green Deal.
  • Why city councils make specific choices regarding the Green Deal delivery model.
  • Likely risks, benefits, issues encountered and lessons learned by far by implementing and delivering the Green Deal in such a way.
  • How city councils’ strategic action could ensure the success of the scheme.

In general I would like to identify if the Green Deal is an adequate, well-operated and clear policy for the Local Authorities and the public. If this is the case I would like to point out which is the best route to achieve that.

For that reason I am currently conducting interviews with eight England Core cities, namely: Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield City Councils. In 2012 these core cities got funding from DECC in order to kick start the Green Deal and test peoples’ attitude for the scheme. Consequently, I would like to see how the city councils developed from their pilots schemes, what delivery routes are following now and what are the key lessons learned by implementing the Green Deal.

Furthermore, as I stated earlier an objective of the dissertation will be the councils’ strategic actions. One of the Bristol City Council’s strategic actions is to use community groups to spread the word about the Green Deal framework. In that way there is the potential to increase the take up of energy efficiency measures in a cost-efficient way. As a result, I am conducting interviews with Bristol Community Groups as well in order to evaluate if their approach towards the Green Deal scheme and the engagement with householders is successful. If not, I would like to find out how this could be improved in the future.

Why it is important to understand how the Green Deal is being delivered?

Green Deal belongs in a wider category of policies namely, energy efficiency measures. Nowadays, more and more countries around the world try to reduce their greenhouse gases by following strategies and by implementing specific policies. The success of the Green Deal scheme is of a greatest importance to mitigate climate change since 40% of CO2 emissions in the UK is derived from domestic properties. The contribution and the engagement of Local Authorities is a proactive step towards the successful implementation and execution of the scheme. Nevertheless this is not always the case. So, what happens if a national policy lacks clear orientation, objectives and is confusing for Local Authorities to implement and too difficult for people to understand it? Then is time for policy makers to take action and consider likely scenarios to ameliorate the Green Deal. I hope that my dissertation would help towards that route and I would personally try to make some decent recommendations for future consideration.

If you are interested in learning more about my project please don’t hesitate to contact me at:


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This blog has been written by Despoina Kyrkili, an MSc student studying Environmental Policy and Management at the University of Bristol who has been undertaking a Community Based Learning Project at the Cabot Institute.

Despoina Kyrkili

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