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Big firms 'not doing enough for Green Deal'

Energy minister Greg Barker has advised larger building firms such as Carillion to examine their business model, suggesting they are failing to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the Green DealMr Barker was speaking at the UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) Green Deal event on the first anniversary of the initiative.He said that while smaller, more entrepreneurial firms are taking advantage of the scheme, larger firms, which were expected to make the most of the Green Deal, have failed to deliver."I think it is the largest companies, the incumbents, that have been the slowest to adapt, that are struggling to make a reality of opportunities in the new energy market and maybe this is going to be a trigger of a big realignment of who can make a success in the energy market and who can’t," Construction News reports Mr Barker as saying.However, he did say the government is reviewing the policy and may relax the "golden rule" of the scheme, which states that the expected financial savings made by homeowners should be greater than the costs attached to the energy bill.Mr Barker was forced to admit the government's original forecast that 10,000 Green Deal plans would be signed in the scheme's first year was "spectacularly wrong".A mere 626 Green Deals are currently 'live' a year after the launch of the initiative. He mounted a defence of the scheme, however, as he claimed nearly 130,000 Green Deal assessments have been carried out and 81 per cent of people who underwent the assessment are taking action on some or all of the recommended measures.The Green Deal offers homebuyers a loan to cover the cost of installing features designed to improve energy efficiency. The cost of the loan can then be recouped via savings made on energy bills. Yesterday (January 21st), the UK-GBC called for new measures to make the Green Deal more attractive, including relaxing the golden rule and using alternative sources of funding, such as local authorities. 

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