The Green Deal explained

This is a guest post by energy and climate change consultant Paula Owen 

Update: Our embedded version has now expired, but you can still watch the video here.

The government’s Green Deal for energy efficiency is a bit of a tricky one to describe to the uninitiated. Indeed, it’s sometimes hard to explain to energy savvy folk too!

So myself and the guys from created an ‘explanimation’ – a short animated film that explains a complex idea simply – about the Green Deal. We had our work cut out trying to explain the scheme in this way, puzzling over a simple way of explaining that the loan is attached to a house rather than the householders, or that people pay through their electricity bill for scheme that generally saves money on gas.

Why we need impartial communication tools
Currently there seems to be no clear, coordinated, communication strategy to get the word out there. And given the complexities of some features of this new energy efficiency scheme, one could argue that it is pretty crucial to the success of the scheme to start getting the message across sooner rather than later. With only five months to go before the feted launch of the domestic scheme in October, there is a huge ‘warming up’ exercise to be undertaken.

Leaving ‘the market’ to deliver the communications needed to convince a sceptical general public into taking up this scheme is a potentially risky strategy in our opinion. It has huge potential for confusion and mis-selling.  There have to be clear, objective, non-partisan communication tools out there to help educate and inform.

Any comments or feedback will be gratefully received!

Find out more about the Green Deal explanimation 


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  • Great work I really like this, hope it goes viral

  • The film makes the serious mistake of opening by linking the Green Deal to carbon emissions. It is about energy saving not carbon emissions. We know this because the government continues to license more hydrocarbon exploration and production. Carbon emissions are a supply-side issue.
    For further explanation see

  • Pingback: The Green Deal explained | green alliance blog | Homes With Green

  • A nice video but it unintentionally highlights one of the dangers of communicating the Green Deal to the public – the riskiness of basing your future energy bills on a simple calculation tool (i.e. a version of SAP) is not a message that comes across. It will be quite easy for a householder to enter into this agreement thinking that it is a no-lose situation. The graph in the video doesn’t make a clear distinction between the household’s real current energy bill and the modelled current energy bill (the latter being the quantity that is shown). Therefore, the impression is given (not just in this video but also government sources) that the real post-refurb energy bill (including GD repayments) will be less than if the household hadn’t accessed the GD. But there is no guaruntee that this will be the case – the actual “guaruntee” is that the modelled savings will be greater than the GD repayments. But as the model being used is not designed to predict energy bill savings in any detail, then this is a very weak and largely meaningless guaruntee. The fear is that the householder will therefore not understand the risks involved with signing up to a GD loan – and that their post-refurb energy bills might end up being similar (or greater) than pre-refurb. Unless this particular aspect of the GD is communicated then we can expect some pretty angry householders within 6 months or so of these schemes starting. If they start….

  • I disagree that Green Deal is not about carbon reduction, the government has committed to significant reductions by 2050 and Green Deal measures will absolutely contribute to this end, the retrospective upgrading of the UK property stock can is key to achieving the 2050 targets. I do however recognise that we need to reduce our energy demands due to infrastructure inadequacy and dependence on imported fossil fuels etc.

  • Nobody disputes that improving the energy efficiency of our homes is vital, but carbon emissions will not be reduced until there is a supply side restrictions. See link on my previous post. Currently our government shows no sign of acting on the the supply side so the Green Deal can only help on energy security and economics, but not global warming.

  • I guess though no matter what we do ‘global warming’ requires far more commitment from far more nations and even if we ceased all carbon output it’s a drop in the ocean (though that’s no excuse not to take action)

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