A sunny summer’s morning bought myself and Sara Turnbull – our in house policy advisor- to meet the head of External Affairs for Grainger Plc (the largest listed residential landlord in the UK).
We were greeted by Kurt in the Knightsbridge office, shadowed by the mighty Harrods. After a cup of coffee and a catch up, we knuckled down to Green Deal business.
Sara and I had a few questions in mind before we met Kurt :
- - How has Grainger been considering the Green Deal?
- - What are the savings available to be made with the Green Deal by Grainger?
- - What does Grainger think about the timing of the Green Deal?
- -When (if at all ) is Grainger going to start testing it?
Kurt Mueller talks about the Green Deal for Graingerl
Through our discussions a lot of other aspects of the Green Deal cropped up.
Indeed, another key aspect of the Green Deal that we thought had been conspicuously omitted from the Green Deal discussions is Carbon Reductions. Why is no one talking about reducing carbon in the UK? Everyone seems to be too hooked on why the finance mechanisms are so complicated.
Kurt elaborated on this by saying that carbon footprint was not exactly a big issue for Grainger, and definitely not the primary reason for implementing the Green Deal. The main encouraging aspect of the Green Deal for Grainger was adding value to their properties.
There were also other factors that Grainger brought to our attention that we didn’t necessarily think about before, such as the tenant’s view.
Kurt highlighted that most senior tenants are not necessarily keen to have new improvements that they have to pay for - they’re happy simply being left alone. On the other hand, younger tenants are generally really proactive when it comes to energy efficiency and saving money, and are more than happy to have improvements done free of charge!
At the end of the day the tenant is King, if they don’t want the Green Deal, Grainger can’t do much about it … Kurt also said that they were in no hurry to jump on the Green Deal train as soon as it leaves the platform. They are going to wait until the waters have been tested, then do some testing of their own, and then maybe jump in. There is also absolutely no point in Grainger subscribing to the Green Deal is they can do it cheaper themselves: They have their own capital for these kinds of improvements so it would seem somewhat unproductive to borrow funds from the Green Deal scheme.