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Micropower Council say government 'could do better'
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The Microgeneration industry has called on David Cameron to intervene personally to fulfil his pledge to make this “the Greenest Government Ever” as squabbling between Government departments starts to cost jobs and cause investors to flee the UK. In an “end of term” report the Micropower Council highlighted how the Treasury is blocking Energy and Climate Change Ministers Chris Huhne and Greg Barker's desire to introduce a key policy that will encourage millions of householders to install low carbon solutions to space heating or hot water.
Micropower Council say government 'could do better'

The report also highlights how the civil service machine has caused Ministers at the Department for Communities and Local Government to break the law, as well as ignoring the publicly expressed wishes of two Ministers.

Dave Sowden, Chief Executive of the Micropower Council said - "The valiant attempts of Chris Huhne and Greg Barker at the Department for Energy and Climate Change to make progress on microgeneration policy are constantly being thwarted by the treasury and the machine taking over from Ministers in policy making at DEFRA and CLG. This is distorting the market, costing jobs, spooking entrepreneurs, and causing investors to flee.

“Almost 130 Members of Parliament have called on the Government to confirm the introduction of the Renewable Heat Incentive for Microgeneration. Ministers in DECC have been inundated with briefings (including at least one established company implementing 40% cuts in its salary bill) and urgent requests for clarity on this issue before the industry starts to fall apart. Despite this, the Treasury’s iron shutters remain down.

“In DEFRA and CLG, the civil service machine has for years undermined Ministers and thwarted their wishes on Permitted Development for microgeneration. We had hoped that this government would be different and that the new batch of CLG Ministers would get a grip. Despite this, Eric Pickles and Greg Clark have allowed their civil servants to over ride the wishes of two Ministers of State and sleep-walk them into breaking the law.

“We now call on the Prime Minister himself to intervene personally to put a stop to this inter-departmental bickering, and give Chris Huhne and Greg Barker the help they need in tackling Treasury and CLG. The Conservative Party was a staunch supporter of these two key policies when in opposition, and if they are not seen through without any further delay, “the Greenest Government Ever” will have ended its first Parliamentary term with a microgeneration industry in crisis”.

The Council are critical of the delays to the dropping of the need for planning permission for householders wishing to install air source heat pumps or small wind turbines, and the lack of any firm committment on the introduction of the Renewable Heat Incentive, which was set to come into force next April. They do however applaud the government's progress on Feed-in tariffs and the introduction of the Microgeneration strategy.

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