The letter, which has been signed by bosses at Willmott Dixon, Carillion and Barratts as well as several manufacturers, was issued after new figures revealed just four Green Deal finance plans have been signed off since the scheme came into being five months ago.
The shocking first quarter figures come after more than 38,000 assessments of homes have been carried out up and down the country and sound the alarm that the Green Deal is failing to win hearts and minds.
In an open letter orchestrated by the UK Green Building Council, the delivery bosses urged the three main parties to collaborate to address “major concerns” with current retrofit policy.
Paul King, Chief Executive of UK-GBC, said: “It is obviously disappointing that more Green Deal assessments have not been turned into finance plans, and it shows just how crucial additional incentives are to drive take up.
“But we simply cannot let this fail – retrofitting the UK’s housing stock is too important for reducing energy bills, improving health, creating jobs in the construction sector and avoiding costs of new generating capacity – and no one has a credible alternative.
Signatories to Green Deal warning
James Cameron – Chairman, Climate Change Capital
Mark Clare – Group Chief Executive of Barratt Developments
John Frankiewicz – CEO, Willmott Dixon Capital Works
Peter Hindle – General Delegate, UK, Ireland and South Africa, Saint Gobain
Paul King – Chief Executive, UK Green Building Council
Ian Marchant – CEO, SSE
Gene Murtagh – CEO, Kingspan Group
John Sinfield – Chief Executive, Knauf Insulation
Russell Smith – Managing Director, Parity Projects & Acting Chairman of RetrofitWorks
Nigel Taylor – Chief Operating Officer, Services, Carillion
Peter Walls – CEO, Gentoo
The letter warns that the current rate of interest for Green Deal finance is in danger of acting as a major disincentive to take up, as well as minimising the extent of the measures available in a Green Deal package.
It calls for further incentives to be built into council tax or stampt duty to spur home owners into making energy improvements.
The group also calls for the formation of a high-level industry advisory board co-chaired by a minister and a senior industry figure.
This could also involve a more operational body, or ‘hub’, which Government has previously expressed support for.
King added: “Business leaders are saying loud and clear that we need to forge a new consensus between politicians of all parties, the private sector and the public around retrofit, to depoliticise something that simply has to be done.
“It will require some tough choices, but it is absolutely in the public and nation’s best interest to address this as a matter of urgency. The Green Deal provides an important foundation to build on.”