The Green Deal, the government’s flagship home energy-saving scheme, which was meant to create up to 60,000 jobs by 2015, has instead caused up to 7,000 redundancies, with more likely to follow.
The Green Deal scheme and the energy company obligation (Eco) were designed to make millions of homes cosier and cheaper to heat by helping householders install insulation and other energy-saving measures.
David Cameron pledged in February that they would help make Britain “the most energy-efficient country in Europe”. The government aimed to upgrade 10,000 homes by next year and 14m by 2020. However, so few householders have taken up the scheme that hardly any of the promised jobs have emerged.
Research published in July by the National Insulation Association showed that 5,500 people who used to work in energy-saving schemes that were shut down when the Green Deal and Eco started in January have been sacked.
Industry sources said another 1,500 jobs had gone since and many more redundancies were expected.
“Last year, under the old home insulation schemes, we insulated 1.2m lofts and 600,000 cavity walls, as well as fitting external cladding to the walls of another 80,000 homes,” said Neil Marshall of the association.
“This year, the entire industry has collapsed, with installations running at less than 10% of last year. Thousands of people have lost their jobs and none of the new jobs promised under the Green Deal and Eco have happened.”
The figures, which are not disputed by the energy department, are a stark contrast to the promises made when the Green Deal and Eco schemes were launched.
Greg Barker, the energy minister, predicted that the schemes would generate 38,000 to 60,000 jobs by 2015.