‘Green Deal’ damned – but what can we learn?
The UK Government’s erstwhile domestic energy efficiency programme ‘The Green Deal’ has been damned by the Public Accounts Committee for having “abysmal” take-up. “It was too complex, with excessive paperwork, while people were also put off by interest rates of up to 10% on the loans – far more expensive than other lending” was the verdict.
The Green Deal was clearly one of those clever political ideas which makes sense logically but fails to survive first contact with the real world. As I said three years ago, expecting busy people to get their heads around the supposed benefits of the so-called ‘Golden Rule’ was unrealistic. I said then:
“Again and again we keep getting the same lesson – that if you offer a green option it must not only be better than the alternative, or the ‘do nothing’ default option, but be simpler and more intuitive as well. A walk in the park, not a slog through the mud, in other words.”
The bigger point is pragmatism beats idealism hands down every time. Do what works, kill off what doesn’t, and never, ever be distracted by purists. They never create anything, because the real world is not perfect.