M&S and Tesco missing from list of first green deal providers

Initial list of 22 home insulation providers dominated by small- to medium-sized companies, as green deal launch approaches

Three of the Big Six energy companies, Marks & Spencer and Tesco are missing from the initial list of companies offering home insulation under the government’s flagship green deal scheme.

The government’s list of companies that will be providing home improvement services, published on Wednesday, was expected to include leading supermarkets such as Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s. The loan scheme is designed to increase energy efficiency in draughty British homes, nearly half of which do not have loft or cavity wall insulation.

Of the energy companies, British Gas, E.ON and Scottish and Southern Electric are confirmed as providers, and B&Q is the only high street retailer. The list of 22 initial green deal providers is dominated by small- and medium-sized energy companies such as Toriga Energy and Yorkshire Energy Services.

A spokesperson for the Department of Energy and Climate Change said more companies would sign up to offer the green deal: “This is just the first tranche of green deal providers. We expect there to be many more companies signing up. We want people to come forward as soon as they feel they are able.” She added that there would be no limit to the number of providers.

Climate Change minister Greg Barker said the agreement between the government and participating businesses marked a “watershed moment” in the development of the green deal. “The commitment shown today highlights the opportunity organisations see in the Green Deal, which only bodes well for the scheme’s future success,” he said. “We will be working with these organisations to ensure they can fulfil the potential they have demonstrated today and become the first to offer green deals.”

Due to start in October, the green deal will allow bill payers to take out a loan to cover the cost of improvements. The “golden rule” will guarantee that savings made on energy bills will exceed the loan repayments. It is estimated that 14m homes in the UK have inadequate insulation.

There have been fears that take-up will not be as high as expected prompting chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander to announce £200m incentive pot to encourage homeowners to get on board with the scheme.

Barker had hoped that having major retailers on board would also help encourage participation. Speaking in October 2010the minister welcomed the interest of such companies, saying: “Often these retailers know better how to engage with customers than the large energy companies.”

Enact, one of the listed providers, are currently subcontracted by both M&S and Tesco to provide home services. Both retailers have yet to confirm whether they will be providing green deal services for their customers through the company. A Tesco spokeswoman told the Guardian: “We are supportive of the aims of the green deal. We already provide home energy efficiency services and we’re in discussion with the government and our supplier Enact to look at ways to expand that service.”

The list of providers runs as follows: Ampere GDP, Anglian Home Improvements, BritishEco, British Gas, CarbonLow Group, Carillion, Empower Community, Enact Energy, E.ON, Gentoo Group, Grafton Group, Insta Group, Keepmoat, Kingfisher, Mark Group, ReEnergise Finance, SIG plc, SSE, Stroma, Toriga Energy, Willmott Dixon Energy Services, Yorkshire Energy Services

guardian.co.uk

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