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B&Q to participate in Green Deal research

The University of East Anglia (UEA) has been awarded new funding to research the Green Deal and how to encourage its take-up among consumers.

The £355,000 award from the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) will fund research being conducted by the Norwich Business School and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at UEA into the Green Deal, the Government’s flagship energy policy to insulate Britain’s homes and businesses. DIY retailer B&Q and the Low Carbon Innovation Centre at UEA are also participating in the research. The two-year project will be the first of its kind to evaluate how potential customers can be incentivised to invest in energy efficiency measures through the Green Deal.

The Green Deal will enable homeowners and businesses to access loans for loft and cavity wall insulation, lagging and other energy efficiency measures. The Government says it will see billions of pounds lent every year and create 250,000 jobs between now and 2020. However, concerns have been raised among businesses and investors that the scheme will not deliver the required take-up among cash-strapped homeowners. A lack of awareness amongst the public about the Green Deal, which is due to launch in autumn 2012, and the benefits of energy efficiency improvements could also impact negatively on the success of the programme.

Consumer behaviour
"Our study will bring together business, economics and consumer behaviour research to examine how the Green Deal might best engage with consumers, through better understanding why they buy low energy products and how to motivate more people to do so," said Dr George Chryssochoidis of Norwich Business School. "Ultimately this research will help to reduce the UK’s energy use and carbon emissions."

B&Q, which is partnering on the research, will be one of the companies delivering the Green Deal. It was announced last week that the retailer is one of the 16 founding members of the Green Deal Finance Company, a not-for-profit venture that will offer cheap loans to households and businesses making energy efficiency investments through the Green Deal.

Source: Beth Glanvill - Greenwise

11 October 2011
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