Prudence one, imprudence two



Is Huhne getting WARMTOES or cold feet about the green deal?

There was a lot of meat in the session at DECC select committee between members and Chris Huhne and Charles Hendry, the Departmental ministers. You can watch the session here.  The subject was Electricity Market Reform, and there were useful exchanges on all aspects of the EMR proposals; some of which I’ve trailed in other posts, so I won’t go over old ground again. The discussion did range somewhat wider than the specifics of EMR though, in addition to the earlier quizzing of Chris Huhne on his reaction to the terrible news coming out of Japan.

I picked up two imprudences in his answers, which are worth further examination.  I’ve not got the transcript in front of me as I write this, but it will arrive shortly, and I can then see if I remember correctly or not!

First imprudence: Charles Hendry, in defending the Departments decision on an immediate review of 50kw plus solar PV (see my post here on this) appeared to think that the tariff breaks on PV were at 5 and 50kw, with nothing then until the limit of 5mw.  He based his argument for a review of 50mw plus on this ‘fact’.

Not so, of course. The tariff break is: 41.3p per kwh for installations up to 4kw, 36.1p for installations of 4-10kw 36.1p; 10-100kw 31.4p and 29.3p 100kw – 5mw. I know they’re correct  because I looked them up on the Department website (here).

If he is defending a review on the basis of tariff breaks, maybe he should get them right. And if he did have to have a review, basing it on the actual tariff break of 100mw would have produced a very different result, namely that most community-based PV installations (which are the ones seriously hurting under the present proposals) would have been outside its terms.  Time for a rapid rewind?

Second imprudence: Chris Huhne still eulogising about the  munificence of the Green Deal, quoting the enormous savings that had come about to householders as a result of British Gas’s work on home energy efficiency (see my post on this here) and that bills had come down in some instances by 40%. I suspect he may have been talking to my friend Ivy in Walsall….

All very good, but of course as I pointed out in that post, this work was undertaken through CESP and the economies achieved among other things, by the area based nature of the energy efficiency retrofitting of homes, or what I termed “Whole Area Renovation Managing to Optimise Energy Saving” -WARMTOES.  Precisely what you won’t be able to do (at present) under the terms of the Green Deal.   Unless, that is, Chris is on the verge of recasting Green Deal, so that you can.  That would be nice, wouldn’t it?


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