In this week’s Gossage, we’ll assess why the UK made the sudden decision to ditch lighting from the Green Homes grant scheme, despite early reports that it would be included.
At the start of this month the Government launched its ‘Green Homes grant scheme’. Over the next six months, £1.5 billion has been allocated to offer two-thirds of the costs of installing energy saving measures in the residential sector – worth up to £5,000 per household.
When in early July Chancellor Rishak announced the grants scheme, briefings were sent out to all the media explaining what products would qualify. In that list, as reproduced endlessly – including in the Sun, the Mirror, the Express, the BBC website and, yes, also Electrical Review – was ‘energy efficient lighting’.
But when one month later the Government issued its definitive list of qualifying products, there was no mention of anything to do with lighting. Why? The reason is simple. The overriding objective is to provide registered employment within the construction industry. Tens of thousands of new jobs will be delivered, according to Business Secretary Alok Sharma.
And that sadly means that one of the products that has already brought some of the greatest electricity savings of all, but has the potential to deliver so much more, has been unceremoniously disbarred from entry into the entire grants scheme. Although why lighting featured so prominently in the government’s initial eligibility list, is anybody’s guess. Perhaps the old joke should now become: how many civil servants does it take to change an official scheme to exclude lightbulbs?