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« 'Ere we go, 'ere we go, 'ere we go... | Main | Wild waters of rewilding »

Another one bites the dust

Emily Gosden has posted some more good news this afternoon at the Telegraph

Launched in 2013, the Green Deal was touted as a "revolution" in upgrading Britain’s old and draughty housing stock, designed to encourage millions of households to take out loans to install insulation and new boilers.

But on Thursday, with less than 10,000 loans in place, ministers pulled the plug and acknowledged the scheme would be seen as a "total flop".

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) said it would provide no further Government funding for the Green Deal Finance Company, which provides the loans, "in light of low take-up and concerns about industry standards". It had so far provided £59 million to the company.

All we need now (well, nearly all) is the end of the Climate Change Act.


Updated 6.18pm

AAAAAGH! Harrabin on BBC Radio 4 PM programme has just declared that the Green Deal would have resulted in a reduced demand for new power stations.


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Reader Comments (39)

Having actually had a Green deal 'expert' come to my home, I can tell you that this was a con of the most inept order ever.

The Govt paid, say, a boiler manufacturer, or wall insulation company to come round and to an expert (snort!) assessment of your home for energy usage.

Mine was a moron.

He walked through the door and immediately began telling how much his company could get off the Govt to fit X (his services). He was not remotely interested, or qualified, in any other aspect of energy saving. Had no clue about LEDs, loft insulation etc.

I complained to his company and then all the way up the chain, including to the Govt dept administering the scheme.


Then endured endless sales calls from the idiots themselves for the next six months.

They weren't just corrupt, they were useless.

Jul 23, 2015 at 6:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-Record

We have been getting about four cold calls a day, seven days a week for at least a year (In spite of Telephone Preference) inviting us to get a new boiler under the government scheme. Let's hope that that is the end of them.

Jul 23, 2015 at 6:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

£5900 per loan....that was a bargain :(

Jul 23, 2015 at 6:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterNeil Wilkinson

Ed Davey appeared on Radio 4 countless times telling us what a wonderful scheme it was. It was evident to anybody but the BBC interviewers that this was another failed scheme that Davey kept on lying about. I wonder whether he has got a job in the Renewable Energy 'industry' yet?

Jul 23, 2015 at 6:36 PM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Jesus Christ, there goes another nice little earner - Arthur Daley.


Jul 23, 2015 at 6:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterPointman

This could be the start of the end of Harrabin, and the BBC.

As noted above, telesales will be the hardest hit. Homeowners will save masses of energy in answering nuisance phone calls.

Another Green initiative dropped for being an embarrassing waste of public money.

Jul 23, 2015 at 7:00 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie


Your experience sounds like what I would expect from Barack Obama, the community organizer-and-racketeer-in-chief. The "expert" who bothered you didn't by chance speak with a Chicago accent, did he?

Jul 23, 2015 at 7:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Dale Huffman

golf charlie; The sooner Harrabin departs the BBC the better. He is either one of the most biased people employed (I use the term loosely) by the BBC, or he is a liar or he is just ignorant and doesn't know what he is talking about (we know he has no qualifications for the job). It could be he is all three,

Jul 23, 2015 at 9:36 PM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby


Climate change is now morphing into Ocean Acidification as the next Big Thing. Whoever called it here, hats off to you.

Just watching Bloomberg and Wendy Schmidt and Peter Diamandis are putting money for an X-Prize all about building better sensors and trying to get a handle on this "growing problem".

So the Green Deal may become the Blue Deal or some other hand-waving money-redistribution cause.

Jul 23, 2015 at 9:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterMicky H Corbett

O/T but BBC related: There was an interesting program today on Radio 4 at 11am about the continuing energy crisis in South Africa with 'load shedding' (rolling blackouts) affecting millions of customers when demand exceeds supply. Needless to say the BBC narrator chose not to explore the reason why insufficient power stations had been built and just blamed it on 'bad government decisions'. Nothing to do with rich Western environmentalists blocking banks loans for coal powered stations then?

Jul 23, 2015 at 10:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterChilli

The BBC's Harrabin obviously sees himself as a spin doctor for the mythical man-made climate change.

I suggest most sane members of the British public have either never heard of him or take no notice of his ravings anyway.

Jul 23, 2015 at 10:25 PM | Unregistered Commenteroldbrew

Phillip Bratby, in years to come, Harrabin will be held up as a shining example of why the BBC failed. This is a bit unfair on Harrabin, when others at the BBC employed him, and continue to let him get away with blatant misinformation.

The BBC failed to shape the General Election in their favour, and still tried to claim it was the electorates fault for not telling the truth.

I never thought the BBC would be the model for Jonathan Pryce's character in the James Bond film "Tomorrow never dies", shaping tomorrow's future today, and messing it up so badly.

Jul 23, 2015 at 10:28 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Jul 23, 2015 at 9:51 PM | Micky H Corbett

'Ocean acidification' is just one of their insurance policies. (It also finally got me banned at the Guardian - the land where 'Comment is Free', remember?) when I called it out as a complete CYA blag.
It's not a coincidence they are pushing OA, plus 'extreme' weather, plus 'total energy imbalance' and other such BS. All of them are on the table now but were unheard of only a few years ago. They're deliberately misdirecting attention from the lack of runaway warming these last 2 decades, which is killing their theory.

Re the main article: I've said it before and it's now as plain as day: the Great Retreat is definitely, absolutely on. Step by step they're unwinding all that lunacy from Decc and in particular, the loony Lib Dem's.

Jul 23, 2015 at 10:48 PM | Unregistered Commentercheshirered

cheshirered, fighting a retreat from such entrenched positions, makes no military sense, unless you know your trenches are crumbling and useless.

Jul 23, 2015 at 11:39 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Wouldn't reducing VAT on building materials and tax breaks for any work involved in upgrading and repairs to the existing housing stock would that have not been a better deal and healthier for home dwellers better deal for those employed in the construction industry and better deal for the UK economy and the environment.

What is the point of putting in more loft insulation if your roof and the gutters leak.

Jul 23, 2015 at 11:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamspid

"[W]e know he has no qualifications for the job." --Phillip Bratby

Let's see:

☑ biased?
☑ a liar?
☑ ignorant?

Don't those three traits constitute the necessary qualifications?

Jul 24, 2015 at 12:24 AM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

Stuck record,

Similar experience here in Canada, not quite as "pushy" as the UK model by the sound of it though. Some ten years ago, faced with the need for a new furnace which are life or death in our winters, I put together a spreadsheet to determine the payback time for different furnace efficiencies over a range of NG prices. The "kool-aid" inoculated salesman that visited didn't know his a$$ from a Btu, he ended up asking me for a copy of my spreadsheet, I told him to go and gather nuts.

Bottom line was that even at $10/gigajoule for NG the payback time on the difference in cost between a 98% versus 85% efficiency forced air furnace was higher than 7 years. (The spreadsheet assumed similar maintenance and repair costs, I now know that "high efficiency" furnaces are nothing like as reliable as older models due to complexity and that repair costs can be budget busting, this likely would have doubled the payback time). Our NG is currently priced at around $4.50/gigajoule, I don't see any increases over the next 15 years in the N.A. markets.

Just another example of "green twisted" technology and hype being marketed long before it is fully sorted, at the expense of the consumer. Parasites.

Jul 24, 2015 at 12:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterMike Singleton

Mike Singleton, this sounds like another of the fabled Green Jobs. Ideally suited to clueless idiots, with no experience or knowledge necessary, as you just have to get your customers to do your job for you.

Jul 24, 2015 at 1:08 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

GC, remember that the green coterie of Harrabin, Shukman, McGrath, Emily whatsherface, et. al. have all received the internal 'white powder, green light' from the BBC hierarchy.

That's what 28-Gate confirmed. They will not stop until much bigger heads roll, because it is consistent with the political stance the BBC has taken.

To whit, "Fracking impact on CO2 cuts in US emissions 'a myth'", by Matt McGrath appears to wilfully ignore the basic chemical stoichiometry and thermodynamics of natural gas (methane) combustion as compared to carbon (coal) combustion. This is 'O'-Level chemistry. Is he denying it, or just ignorant? Or both?

Either way, the BBC doesn't care. They have an agenda to promote. It is naked. They are probably laughing at critics like us, even as they spurt their articles.

Jul 24, 2015 at 1:39 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

"They ask if a country as rich as the UK finds clean energy unaffordable, what hope is there for most of the rest of the world?" - Roger Harrabin BBC environment analyst

A suitable epitaph for a career of blatant Marxist misdirection.

Jul 24, 2015 at 6:03 AM | Registered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

As an architect mentioned to me when discussing the merits of 're-insulating my house "You can buy an awful lot of oil for £ 150,000.

Jul 24, 2015 at 7:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Constable

@LB did he really say that ? Yes I see he uses that campaigning line to end the piece.
WTF kind of headline is that "Energy Secretary Amber Rudd criticised ahead of climate speech"
- An impartial news body would just report on the news after it happens ..instead of running crusading spoilers beforehand like activists.
- Harrabin went to FoE Greenpeace before the speech for quotes yet did he previously go to UKIP and Tories and come up with a headline like these " :
"Miliband criticised ahead of climate speech"
"Caroline Lucas criticised ahead of climate speech"

and as usual the piece has no open comments well at least you can use Twitter

Activists stepping over the line and "giving the truth a helping hand" ..has got completely out of hand
See WUWT's too bad to be true story that John Cook of SkepticalScience disinformation website has been caught read handed posting under the identity of a climate scientist

Jul 24, 2015 at 8:06 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

just in

Climate change debate 'dictated by left-wing anti-capitalists', says Amber Rudd
Climate change secretary says she can understand why people see tackling global warming as "cover for anti-growth, anti-capitalist, proto-socialism”
Fiscally sustainable energy
Telegraph H/T PaulM

Jul 24, 2015 at 8:35 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

This green scam is part of the opportunity cost of the climate obsession.
Tom Fuller has an essay up on this hidden, huge cost the climate community is imposing on the rest of us that is worth a read:

Jul 24, 2015 at 8:52 AM | Unregistered Commenterhunter


I think that Roger is going through the denial phase. Denial that his world is falling apart, the great green in vogue phase is at an end. Reality bites.

Jul 24, 2015 at 9:08 AM | Registered CommenterLord Beaverbrook


In her first major speech on the topic, Ms Rudd will say she can “understand the suspicion of those who see climate action as some sort of cover for anti-growth, anti-capitalist, proto-socialism”.

Now that's going to shake some branches!

Jul 24, 2015 at 9:15 AM | Registered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

Harrabin's version of the Amber Rudd speech story
is what Greenpeace and FoE say about it.
So rather than report what elected Government says, he headlines the story with what unelected activist groups say.

The irony is that his biased activism make Rudd's point.
Bish is on the case on twitter:
"@RHarrabin As a matter of interest, did you consider soliciting views from anyone other than GP and FoE?"
"If a BBC correspondent only seeks the views of anticapitalist groups for reaction to a story, it is a clear breach of the BBC charter."

Jul 24, 2015 at 9:36 AM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Climate change debate 'dictated by left-wing anti-capitalists', says Amber Rudd from the Telegraph.

Got Harrabin banged to rights straight away then, this parliament is starting to shape up somewhat!

Jul 24, 2015 at 9:46 AM | Registered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

@PM He'll hide behind the figleaf ..that he gave ONE cherrypicked opinion of the CBI (well what he thinks they think anyway)
"The CBI recently warned that the government's changes were creating massive uncertainty and risking inwards investment into the UK." ..

Getting on the BBC is about being a "Lefty Lines Prostitute" long as you'll massage their ego by mouthing the LeftyLine your-on.
....Speak away from this holy narrative will mean you only get called on the rare occasion they need the odd token conservative.

- From comedian Andrew Lawrence on FB
"The fact is I came to realise that if you're a decent white heterosexual male stand-up, you can get a lot of TV work, but only if you're a good boy and do as you're told and toe the Liberal line.
So I took that option for a while. Unfortunately the point at which you make that choice is the point at which you stop being an artist and all you are is a prostitute.
.. I made enemies of a lot of my fellow stand-ups because their egos are sadly too big to accept the truth of what they are." 'Lefty-Line Prostitutes' he means

Jul 24, 2015 at 9:57 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Oh that John Cook stealing identity story on WUWT is not about a recent occurrence but from people examing 2011 forums when he admitted it.
In the comments of Lubos_Motl's blog post PMatthews mentions he has found other instances of similar trickery

Jul 24, 2015 at 10:12 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

'anti-growth, anti-capitalist, proto-socialists'? Who'd a thunk it?

Jul 24, 2015 at 11:38 AM | Unregistered Commenterkim

And out of a study done in Michigan:

Energy-Efficiency Efforts May Not Pay Off
But now a paper released by that same institute appears to poke serious holes in EPA’s arguments. Examining a major Michigan weatherization program, the study found that while upgrades reduced consumption by about 10 to 20 percent, the total energy savings generated over a 16-year window amounted to less than half of the initial weatherization costs....“We were surprised, to be perfectly frank,” said co-author Catherine Wolfram, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business....

The study tracked 30,000 Michigan households that were considered eligible for the federal Weatherization Assistance Program, which provides funding for home energy audits and upgrades like new furnaces and insulation installation....The tracking began in 2011....

The authors projected their three years of electricity and heating bill data over a 16-year window. “We’re seeing on average $2,400 in avoided energy costs, whereas the cost was [on average] $5,000,” Wolfram said. “That’s really disappointing....

Jul 24, 2015 at 11:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterDB

Amber is Red light for Greens

Jul 24, 2015 at 12:03 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Amber gives Red Light to GreenCrap ...or .. GreenCrap gets Red Light from Amber

Jul 24, 2015 at 12:55 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

As an aside - I recently had the annual (uneventful) service on my 'conventional' gas boiler - which was installed in about nineteenhundredandfrightenedtodeath...

The service engineer characterised its reliability by saying: 'Its a lump of cast iron with a fire under it...'

Says it all, really....

Jul 24, 2015 at 1:04 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

If you actually read her speech it is full of green crap. Right to the brim.

Jul 24, 2015 at 2:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterIvor Ward

So evidently the sods who actually work for a living are smarter than gov ministers! who knew? Only 10,000 loans in spite of pressure and "free money" hahahahahahha

Jul 24, 2015 at 3:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterCraig Loehle

Ivor @ 2:35pm

Thanks for the link and you are correct, Rudd trots out this old chestnut:

But it was Margaret Thatcher who first put climate change on the international agenda.

She told the World Climate Conference in 1990 that “The danger of global warming is real enough for us to make changes and sacrifices, so that we do not live at the expense of future generations.”

Ignoring the fact she later admitted she was wrong.

In Statecraft: Strategies for a Changing World (2002), Thatcher declared war on “the doomsters’ favorite subject … climate change.”

Here is her full reconsideration (pp. 449–50):

The doomsters’ favorite subject today is climate change. This has a number of attractions for them. First, the science is extremely obscure so they cannot easily be proved wrong. Second, we all have ideas about the weather: traditionally, the English on first acquaintance talk of little else.

Third, since clearly no plan to alter climate could be considered on anything but a global scale, it provides a marvelous excuse for worldwide, supra-national socialism. All this suggests a degree of calculation. Yet perhaps that is to miss half the point. Rather, as it was said of Hamlet that there was method in his madness, so one feels that in the case of some of the gloomier alarmists there is a large amount of madness in their method.

Indeed, the lack of any sense of proportion is what characterizes many pronouncements on the matter by otherwise sensible people. Thus President Clinton on a visit to China, which poses a serious strategic challenge to the US, confided to his host, President Jiang Zemin, that his greatest concern was the prospect that “your people may get rich like our people, and instead of riding bicycles, they will drive automobiles, and the increase in greenhouse gases will make the planet more dangerous for all.”

It would, though, be difficult to beat for apocalyptic hyperbole former Vice President Gore. Mr Gore believes: ‘The cleavage in the modern world between mind and body, man and nature, has created a new kind of addiction: I believe that our civilisation is, in effect, addicted to the consumption of the earth itself.’

And he warns: “Unless we find a way to dramatically change our civilisation and our way of thinking about the relationship between humankind and the earth, our children will inherit a wasteland.”

But why pick on the Americans? Britain’s then Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, has observed: “There is no greater national duty than the defense of our shoreline. But the most immediate threat to it today is the encroaching sea.” Britain has found, it seems, a worthy successor to King Canute.

The fact that seasoned politicians can say such ridiculous things – and get away with it – illustrates the degree to which the new dogma about climate change has swept through the left-of-centre governing classes….



Let me finish today on this note.

The business community is engaged as never before as one of the leading voices for climate action.

Because you recognise the risks and you recognise the rewards.

And we need you to continue to speak up for a global deal, to continue to invest, to innovate, to drive the clean economy forward.

To demonstrate that action to tackle climate change isn’t an indulgence. It makes cold hard economic sense.

If "tackle" means adapt and develop ways to benefit from at lowest cost rather than try to prevent at enormous cost I'm all for it.

Jul 24, 2015 at 8:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterPcar

You mean, of course 'Komment Macht Frei'. ™Delingpole

Jul 24, 2015 at 8:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterTrueSkeptik

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