Government launches multi-million-pound comms drive for struggling Green Deal

The Government has launched a multi-million-pound environmental PR drive as it strives to live up to David Cameron's 'greenest government ever' promise.

Sun power: Solar panels are an efficient form of green energy
Sun power: Solar panels are an efficient form of green energy

The Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) is in talks with PR agencies as part of a wider effort to bolster support for its controversial flagship eco policy.

The DECC has issued a £410,000 brief to support the launch of its Green Deal programme, which encourages people to invest in saving energy at home.

The successful agency will underpin the Government’s efforts to persuade one million householders to invest in green technology by 2015.

However, the scheme has been criticised by its own experts as unrealistic and overly complicated and been met with hesitancy from potential corporate backers. Last month, Labour said the scheme lay ‘in tatters’ after climate change minister Greg Barker admitted that no household had yet registered to be assessed for the scheme.

An agency source with knowledge of the brief said the Green Deal was fundamental to the eco credentials of Cameron, who has been briefed about its stuttering progress. ‘Very few people know about the Green Deal, and it will be absolutely crucial to get the public to buy into the scheme,’ the source said. ‘Though it is part of a wider modernisation agenda for the Tories, it can very easily be torpedoed.’

Initial comms activity will focus on publicising the January launch of the scheme, with the contract potentially extended until March 2014.

James Platt, a senior press officer at the DECC working on the Green Deal, said: ‘This is a flagship scheme and though the Government has created a framework for the Green Deal, it is ultimately market-driven. It is important for us to gain as much publicity as possible, while also building trust in it.

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