Green Deal ‘Nudge Unit’ could be coming to you.

Ahead of the launch of the eagerly awaited Green Deal next Autumn (2012), a trial team known as the “Nudge Unit’ are working a number of local trials with High St names to gain valuable behavioural insights into likely homeowners for the scheme, before its launch.

Whilst Ministers are enthusiastic about the benefits the Green Deal will bring to thousands of homes across the UK, they concede that there are many barriers to getting the co-operation of the public.

Energy Minister Chris Huhne said “the Green Deal is a fantastic way for people to upgrade their draughty and energy wasting homes” but reckons the “cost, the hassle and the lack of trust in people who’ll instal the kit” could be a major obstacle to uptake of the Deal.

To try and gauge exactly what will encourage people, a number of trials in association with High St names like B&Q and Homebase will see trials including:

A subsidised loft clearance service which will test the ‘hassle’ factor of having to empty a loft before insulation can be fitted. Unwanted contents will be donated to local charity shops.

Other trials include testing the impact of rewards – residents in one local authority will receive council tax ‘holidays’ or vouchers in return for purchasing energy efficiency measures.

Another trial will focus on which channels of communication work most effectively to motivate consumers to save energy.

The trials will be starting in September so keep an eye out for any of these or similar schemes running in your local authority area.

This story first appeared in our regular weekly homeowner newsletter, dated 11th July 2011. Click here to read the full newsletter.

photo credit: ryan mcfarland

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