Green Deal will fail without SMEs, says Scottish energy minister

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Scotland’s minister for energy, enterprise and tourism Fergus Ewing has called on the government to ensure that SMEs lead the way in delivering the Green Deal.

Launching on January 28th, the MSP for Inverness and Nairn says getting the energy efficiency scheme off the ground will rely on the general public being able to approach local plumbing or electrical contractors to deliver the measures.

He adds that without a viable route through small independent traders, awareness of Green Deal will be lost to the public and participation will be low.

“I look forward to the Green Deal. But for it to succeed, small businesses must be allowed to do the work. That is the approach that we are urging the UK government to adopt,” said Ewing at the opening of UFW’s training centre in Livingston on 10th January.

“We are supportive of the Green Deal’s objectives, however, we are asking for a change in mindset. The current expectation is to call a plumber for a burst pipe. You are now asking people to go and change their whole type of heating (and install energy efficiency measures) so it is my hope for Scotland that all businesses regardless of size become accredited.

“For there to be take-up of the scheme, it is vital that businesses of all sizes can operate and there are no barriers to them. Otherwise the scheme will fail. It will be hard enough to persuade people to adopt the scheme.

“I am waiting to see and hope that the UK government will see the sense of this approach.”