GM Launches ‘BrightDrop’ Brand For Electric Commercial Vehicles

General Motors announced its new BrightDrop commercial electric vehicle business unit including the ... [+] EV600 cargo van during CES 2021

General Motors

As General Motors picks up momentum toward the electric future it has been promising for the past several years, it is adding a new brand to its portfolio, BrightDrop. BrightDrop will be the first new GM GM brand since it bought Hummer in 1998. However, unlike Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac, BrightDrop is focused exclusively on commercial customers with an ecosystem of electric vehicles and services. 

In fact, BrightDrop isn’t just a new brand, but also a new business unit, much like Saturn was when it launched. GM hired Travis Katz from venture capital firm Redpoint Ventures as president and CEO of the new unit. Like several other recent business launched by the automaker including Onstar Insurance, OnStar Guardian and GM Defense, BrightDrop was spawned out of the Global Innovation group led by Pam Fletcher. The goal this time is to provide a complete suite of products and services for first mile to last mile deliveries. 

General Motors announced its new BrightDrop commercial electric vehicle business unit including the ... [+] EP1 cargo pallet during CES 2021

General Motors

The first product is unlike any GM vehicle previously built. The BrightDrop EP1 is a powered electric pallet that enables easier movement of goods over short distances. Equipped with a hub motor, the EP1 can move at up to 3 mph based on the operator's walking pace. The device can carry a payload of up to 200 lbs and it’s 23 cubic foot interior can be reconfigured with adjustable shelves based on the materials being moved. It can be used to move goods around a warehouse or even to help move objects from a delivery van to the doorstep. The EP1 will be available early this year. 

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GM Launches ‘BrightDrop’ Brand For Electric Commercial Vehicles

General Motors announced its new BrightDrop commercial electric vehicle business unit including the ... [+] EV600 cargo van during CES 2021

General Motors

As General Motors picks up momentum toward the electric future it has been promising for the past several years, it is adding a new brand to its portfolio, BrightDrop. BrightDrop will be the first new GM GM brand since it bought Hummer in 1998. However, unlike Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac, BrightDrop is focused exclusively on commercial customers with an ecosystem of electric vehicles and services. 

In fact, BrightDrop isn’t just a new brand, but also a new business unit, much like Saturn was when it launched. GM hired Travis Katz from venture capital firm Redpoint Ventures as president and CEO of the new unit. Like several other recent business launched by the automaker including Onstar Insurance, OnStar Guardian and GM Defense, BrightDrop was spawned out of the Global Innovation group led by Pam Fletcher. The goal this time is to provide a complete suite of products and services for first mile to last mile deliveries. 

General Motors announced its new BrightDrop commercial electric vehicle business unit including the ... [+] EP1 cargo pallet during CES 2021

General Motors

The first product is unlike any GM vehicle previously built. The BrightDrop EP1 is a powered electric pallet that enables easier movement of goods over short distances. Equipped with a hub motor, the EP1 can move at up to 3 mph based on the operator's walking pace. The device can carry a payload of up to 200 lbs and it’s 23 cubic foot interior can be reconfigured with adjustable shelves based on the materials being moved. It can be used to move goods around a warehouse or even to help move objects from a delivery van to the doorstep. The EP1 will be available early this year. 

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Electric Busmaker Proterra Going Public In $1.6 Billion SPAC Deal

This is one of more than 500 battery-powered buses Proterra has manufactured and sold in the U.S. ... [+] and Canada.

Proterra

Proterra, an electric bus and battery manufacturer that’s expanding into commercial vehicles, is going public through a merger with ArcLight Clean Transition Corp., in a special purpose acquisition deal, values at $1.6 billion.

The transaction will generate $648 million in cash and an additional $415 million in investments from a group that includes Daimler Trucks, Franklin Templeton, Fidelity Management and funds managed by BlackRock BLK . Once the deal is completed, Proterra shares will be listed on the Nasdaq NDAQ exchange under the symbol “PTRA.”

The move comes three months after Burlingame, California-based Proterra raised $200 million from an investment group led by Cowen Sustainable Advisors, Soros Fund Management, Generation Investment Management and Broadscale Group.

Special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) are shell companies that raise money by agreeing to invest in startup ventures with the commitment to take them public within two years. They have become a frequently-used channel for new companies in the electric vehicle, battery and autonomous transportation industries.

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Electric Busmaker Proterra Going Public In $1.6 Billion SPAC Deal

This is one of more than 500 battery-powered buses Proterra has manufactured and sold in the U.S. ... [+] and Canada.

Proterra

Proterra, an electric bus and battery manufacturer that’s expanding into commercial vehicles, is going public through a merger with ArcLight Clean Transition Corp., in a special purpose acquisition deal, values at $1.6 billion.

The transaction will generate $648 million in cash and an additional $415 million in investments from a group that includes Daimler Trucks, Franklin Templeton, Fidelity Management and funds managed by BlackRock BLK . Once the deal is completed, Proterra shares will be listed on the Nasdaq NDAQ exchange under the symbol “PTRA.”

The move comes three months after Burlingame, California-based Proterra raised $200 million from an investment group led by Cowen Sustainable Advisors, Soros Fund Management, Generation Investment Management and Broadscale Group.

Special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) are shell companies that raise money by agreeing to invest in startup ventures with the commitment to take them public within two years. They have become a frequently-used channel for new companies in the electric vehicle, battery and autonomous transportation industries.

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Oil And Gas Industry Must Get Serious About Climate Change To Compete For Millennial And Gen Z Workforce

Emily Pickrell, UH Energy Scholar

Group of people participating in a protest against global warming. Climate change protest concept. ... [+] They are holding banner signs.

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Younger Americans are the most adamant about their belief that climate change is real.

More than 87% of those between 30 and 45 acknowledge that climate change is happening, according to a recent survey conducted by the University of Houston, almost 10 points higher than for people who are 45 and older.

Yet while the younger generations are eager to see climate change and carbon management addressed, they are more reluctant to accept jobs where their talent and enthusiasm is most needed to address it – in the oil and gas sector.

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Renault Forms Fuel Cell Venture With Plug Power

Fuel cell-powered Renault Master Z.E.light commercial vehicle. Renault and Latham, N.Y.-based Plug ... [+] Power have formed a joint venture to produce and market fuel cell versions of the Master and Trafic for sale in Europe.

Anthony Bernier

French automaker Groupe Renault and U.S.-based Plug Power PLUG today announced a memorandum of understanding to create a stand alone joint venture that will develop, build and market electric fuel cell light commercial vehicles (LCVs). 

The move is new evidence of growing momentum for a technology automakers once hoped would replace batteries as the power source for electric vehicles, only to fall out of favor due to concern over a lack of refueling infrastructure and safety surrounding the use of flammable hydrogen.

But Plug Power, headquartered in Latham, N.Y., outside Albany, has emerged as the leader in developing fuel cell systems, having deployed more than 40,000 such systems, and has built 110 hydrogen refueling stations. 

That’s a big reason Renault decided to join forces with Plug Power as it looks to create fuel cell powered light commercial vehicles for business-to-business customers in Europe based on its Master and Trafic truck platforms. 

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The Biden Administration And Energy Part I - Domestic Policy

WILMINGTON, DELAWARE - JANUARY 07: U.S. President-elect Joe Biden delivers remarks as vice ... [+] president-elect Kamala Harris (R) looks on before announcing his choices for attorney general and other leaders of the Justice Department at The Queen theater January 07, 2021 in Wilmington, Delaware. Biden nominated Judge Merrick Garland to be attorney general, Lisa Monaco to be deputy attorney general, Vanita Gupta to be associate attorney general, and Kristen Clarke to be assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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When President Biden takes office on January 20, among the many other obstacles, issues and problems that he will need to deal with is an impending polar vortex that meteorologists now predict will descend upon the United States starting in mid-January. At the same time, Mr. Biden will also assume responsibility for fighting the continuing COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. Dealing with both natural disasters will require enormous amounts of energy. It will be President Biden’s job to make sure that energy is provided to those who need it, and to do so he will need to use all of the resources available to him.

The immediate concern will be ensuring that areas that have actively prevented fossil fuel production, distribution, or both, are able to maintain sufficient power to fight the cold and the virus. Chief among those areas will be the New York metropolitan area and New England.

The last time a polar vortex hit this country hard, in 2018, these same areas were forced to import natural gas and oil from Russia. That may happen again, especially given New York State’s all-out assault not just on fracking but on natural gas pipelines as well.  

In addition, expansion of and improvements made to the Panama Canal have made it easier for tankers from Trinidad and Tobago, historically a main source of Northeastern gas imports, to access markets in South America and Asia. Thus, with more tankers diverting to the Southern Hemisphere, there will be fewer alternatives to Russian gas available for import. Yet again, we likely will witness the sad spectacle of the United States importing gas for New York City from a place like Russia, notwithstanding the fact that immense quantities of natural gas are – but for the lack of a pipeline – available only a four-hour drive away in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Thanks to the artificial interference with normal markets wrought by green energy politics, that gas simply has no easy way to reach New York City or New England.

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Africa Could Be Locked Into Fossil Fuel Future, Warns New Report

A worker inspects photovoltaic solar panels in Thies, Senegal. But despite having abundant resources ... [+] for renewable energy, much of Africa is on track to drastically increase its use of fossil fuels, according to a new report.

© 2017 Bloomberg Finance LP

As wealthy countries go green and decarbonize their energy systems, African nations are locking in increasing greenhouse gas emissions as they strive to double energy production, with potential implications for global climate action, a new study has warned.

Despite large parts of Africa being rich in renewable energy resources, fossil fuels such as coal and gas will continue to account for up to two thirds of the continent’s electricity generation beyond 2030, with non-hydro renewable energy making up less than 10% of the mix, say the authors of a report from the University of Oxford, published today in the journal Nature Energy

The researchers used machine learning to analyze some 2,500 power plants being planned across Africa to determine the likelihood of the projects’ success or failure. They found that by 2030, the continent’s energy generation capacity could rise from 236 gigawatts to 472 gigawatts, with just 9.6% generated from renewable energy sources not including hydropower. Fossil fuels, the authors found, would account for 62% of total capacity.

By comparison, Europe has called for at least 32% of the energy mix to come from renewables by 2030—a target the bloc is almost certain to surpass. In the first half of 2020, renewables generated 40% of electricity across the EU, while fossil fuels generated 34%.

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Prince Charles Agrees With Greta— 2050 Is Too Late—And Announces A ‘Terra Carta’ To Hasten Climate Action

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales during a recent visit to a Gloucestershire Vaccination Centre. ... [+] (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

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Updated Jan. 10, 5:30 p.m. EST with Prince Charles release of the “Terra Carta”

The world’s most progressive governments have committed to achieving net-zero greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050, but two of the world’s most prominent activists insist that’s too late.

In an appearance before an Atlantic Council webinar Friday, the Prince of Wales said we have to reach for that goal much sooner.

“If we have the resolve to shift our trajectory, we must do so now by bringing forward our net-zero target,” he said. “I’m afraid 2050 simply suggests we have room to delay. We must start taking the tough decisions now rather than deferring them to our successors.”

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2021 Energy Predictions: U.S. Clean Energy Standard, Tripling Energy Storage, State Shift From Gas, Electricity Transition, Billions In Climate Investment

2020 was among the most unexpected years in American history but despite a global pandemic, a renewed civil rights movement, and the most tumultuous election in memory one trend held steady: clean energy’s unstoppable rise.

From coal’s complete collapse, to plummeting clean tech prices and booming renewable energy installations, not to mention every Democratic presidential candidate running on ambitious climate action, decarbonization proved it is the path forward to a strong economy and safe climate future.

But how will 2021 shake out? Five leading policy experts shared their predictions for the year ahead, envisioning an even faster acceleration to a clean energy economy than ever before. From unprecedented federal climate policy to surging energy storage installations and a shift away from gas toward sustainable investment and just transitions, the next 12 months could mark the turning point away from fossil fuels.

A federal clean energy standard and “breakout year” for building electrification

Leah Stokes, Assistant Professor, University of California-Santa Barbara

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China Quits Recycling U.S. Trash As Sustainable Start-Up Makes Strides

A recycling center in Newark. China doesn't want this stuff anymore. Now where do we put it? (Photo ... [+] by: Jeff Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Jeff Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

In November, I wrote that China was giving up taking American (and European) recyclables. Local trash deposits were telling me this as far back as August, that they had no one to take container fulls of broken glass and plastic containers. I was advised to just throw it in the standard kitchen trash bag.

MORE FROM FORBESChina Doesn't Want The World's Trash Anymore. Including 'Recyclable' Goods.By Kenneth Rapoza

But now it’s 2021, and there’s a new government coming to town in 10 short days. They are all about protecting the environment. China’s not interested in helping us protect ours by taking our garbage. Even when China (and India) was taking our recyclables, most of it was ending up in mountains of trash in poor provinces anyway.

Yup, your Voss water bottle was not being melted down into a new Voss water bottle, or a Poland Spring water bottle for that matter.

In fact, some towns don’t know what to do with this stuff anymore. Costs are rising to dispose of it. Henrico County, Virginia is considering charging people more money for recycling. We may get to a point where some towns no longer have a recycling center at their landfill.

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Without Carbon Capture And Storage, The World Can’t Meet Its Climate Target

FILE - In this July 27, 2018, file photo, the Dave Johnston coal-fired power plant is silhouetted ... [+] against the morning sun in Glenrock, Wyo. Wyoming's governor is promoting a Trump administration study that says capturing carbon dioxide emitted by coal-fired power plants would be an economical way to curtail the pollution — findings questioned by a utility that owns the plants and wants to shift away from the fossil fuel in favor of wind and solar energy. Supporters say carbon capture would save coal by pumping carbon dioxide — a greenhouse gas emitted by power plants — underground instead of into the atmosphere. (AP Photo/J. David Ake, File)

ASSOCIATED PRESS

When the global community was focused on the U.S. presidential election last fall, a huge story was developing in Norway: Its parliament was preparing to finance “the greatest” carbon capture project in the world that would cut emissions and jumpstart the technology. It would first be implemented at a cement factory.

It is the type of thinking that Prince Charles of Wales said is critical if the international community is to meet its obligations under the Paris climate agreement and to keep temperatures in check. He appeared by video at an Atlantic Council Global Energy conference on Friday, emphasizing “the need to reimagine” climate solutions — ventures that would be both profitable and sustainable. 

“If we have the resolve to shift our trajectory, we need to make the tough decisions now,” the prince said. “Industries, like countries, are interconnected and interdependent. Progress in one can cause progress in another.” 

Setting the tone for the conference, Prince Charles said that those projects with “environmental, social and governance” objectives have been outperforming those centered solely on immediate returns — a function of market demand and the grand desire to curb global warming. 

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Why It’s Falling To You—And Not Your Government—To Decarbonize The Food System

Jeremy Mersereau shops 2 or 3 times a week for fresh fruit and vegetables in Toronto. A 2019 ... [+] Canadian food guide calls for a plant-based diet, but most governments have shrunk from any serious effort to decarbonize the food system. (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

Toronto Star via Getty Images

The food system arguably produces more greenhouse-gas emissions than any other sector, and yet it remains the most neglected by policymakers.

Food is responsible for more than a third1 of the emissions that must vanish by 2050, and yet food was nowhere on the agenda at the Paris Climate Conference. In fact, menus at the conference cafeterias were dominated by carbon-intensive meat and cheese.

Many academic climate conferences and seminars were likewise catered—until the Coronavirus pandemic shut them down—with the most carbon-intensive foods, even as the physicists and economists attending them worked to decarbonize energy, transportation and industry.

Many of the institutions that are confronting the climate crisis appear blind to the footprint of food.

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NET Power CEO Announces Four New Zero-Emission Gas Plants Underway

NET Power's prototype zero-emission natural-gas power plant in LaPorte, Texas.

NET Power

NET Power’s prototype zero-emission natural-gas power plant works, the company’s CEO said today, announcing that construction will begin on the first four operating plants.

“In 2018 we were successful, and in 2018 we also showed that the whole cycle worked,” said NET Power CEO Bill Brown. “At this point we have four different plants underway around the world.”

Brown said more details would be forthcoming “in due course” about the four plants, but that the company has experienced a “huge amount of demand” for smaller plants—25 Megawatts in size.

“We have multiple vendors wanting to build all the equipment that we have,” he said. “So we have multiple vendors and those plants will be announced in due course.”

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2020 Shatters Billion Dollar Weather Disasters Record - Why It Matters To Biden’s Secretary Of Commerce

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that 2020 shattered the record for weather-climate disasters exceeding a billion dollars in damage coast. This week President-elect Joe Biden also announced key members of his Cabinet this week including important players relevant to the economy. One of those announcements was for Secretary of Commerce. Biden announced Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo as his choice for the position. Oddly, these two announcements are not disconnected. Believe it or not, the Department of Commerce is critical to weather, climate and oceans. I will place both announcements in mutual context within this discussion.

WILMINGTON, DELAWARE - JANUARY 08: Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (L) delivers remarks after U.S. ... [+] President-elect Joe Biden (R) announced her as his Commerce Secretary nominee at The Queen theater on January 08, 2021 in Wilmington, Delaware. Biden announced he is nominating Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo as his commerce secretary, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh his labor secretary and Isabel Guzman, a former Obama administration official, as head of the Small Business Administration. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Getty Images

NOAA is arguably the key federal agency focused on weather, climate, oceans, and fisheries. It is the home of the National Weather Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, National Ocean Service, National Environmental Satellite, Data & Information Service, Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, NOAA Corps, and more. We have NOAA to thank for a host of services including weather forecasts, climate assessments, satellites, fisheries information, and ocean monitoring.

NOAA is actually a part of the Department of Commerce, and the NOAA Administrator is called the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere. According to its website, the mission of the Department of Commerce is, “to create the conditions for economic growth and opportunity.” The Secretary of Commerce serves as the key voice of business in the President’s Cabinet. Why is NOAA in the Department of Commerce given that mission statement? There is actually an interesting answer to this question.

NOAA Organization as of January 7th, 2020. It will likely change after President Joe Biden is ... [+] inaugurated.

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Predictions For 2021: Auto Sales Improve, Tesla Meets Its Match

Row of unsold 2020 F-150 pickup trucks sits at a Ford dealership in Littleton, Colo. (AP Photo/David ... [+] Zalubowski)

ASSOCIATED PRESS

A new administration elected to the White House, multiple vaccinations available to help snuff out the Covid-19 pandemic and a strengthening economy all gave U.S. auto sales enough kick to cross the 2020 finish line with promising momentum. But while that momentum is likely carry through to this year, Cox Automotive economists predict it won’t be enough to bring the industry back to pre-pandemic levels. 

During a presentation recapping 2020 and looking ahead to 2021, the top economists at the global auto services company also noted this year will see important growth in electric vehicle production and sales but a strong challenge to EV maker Tesla’s TSLA dominance of the market. 

Charlie Chesbrough, Senior Economist, Cox Automotive

Ed Garsten

Last year new vehicle sales came in at 14.5 million units—a sharp decline from 2019’s 17 million. Blame that on spring production stoppages and the hit on the economy caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. But the year ended with a strong December with an annualized selling rate of 16.3 million—the best sales month since August, 2019, according to Charlie Chesbrough, Cox Automotive Senior Economist. 

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GM Rolls Out New Logo For Electric Vehicle Push

General Motors is launching a new logo and Everybody In marketing campaign as it prepares to launch ... [+] a wave of electric vehicles starting later this year

General Motors

General Motor GM s has a history that goes back more than a century but except for two relatively brief periods in recent decades, the company name has never appeared on the vehicles it produces. The first time a vehicle was badged as GM was the EV1 battery electric vehicle (BEV) produced from 1996 to 1999. Now, as GM prepares to introduce 30 new BEVs it is launching a redesigned corporate badge and Everybody In tagline hoping consumers will come along for the transformation. 

On Tuesday, January 12, 2021, GM CEO Mary Barra will deliver a keynote speech for the first virtual CES which will focus on the Mobility transformation and electrification. The presentation is expected to include announcements of one or more of the upcoming BEVs including a Chevrolet pickup. 

On Monday, before Barra’s speech GM will launch a redesigned corporate website and marketing campaign built around the Everybody In theme. Along with that comes a revamped version of the blue square corporate logo that has been used in various forms since 1964. The versions of the logo used since 2001 are predominantly blue with a gradient that gives them a metallic look. 

The new logo has a distinctly more contemporary look with a flat rounded square icon like those you’ll find on an iPhone screen. The letters for GM are now lower case with just the letters and border in blue against an empty background. The traditional bar that has always been under both letters is now only under the m, with the negative space between the m and bar forming symbolizing a plug. GM’s CMO Deborah Wahl says it “it's optimistic, it brings energy and vibrancy and reflects our view of the future” 

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How Environmentally Friendly Is Your Period?

Menstrual bag with cotton tampons and sanitary pads

getty

It’s estimated that the average person will have 450 periods in their lifetime. This equates to around 10 years. Depending on what menstrual hygiene products you choose to use, this can also cause a lot of waste. You may not automatically think of tampons and menstrual pads when you hear about landfills but some feminine hygiene products take over 500 years to decompose. So, how environmentally friendly is your period? One activist is working to break the link between menstruation and the plastic crisis. 

“From a young age we don’t really talk about periods and when you do get educated about menstruation you’re given samples of products. That starts the consumer cycle. You just keep going back to the same brands without questioning what you’re using because they were given to you by adults,” says campaigner and environmentalist Ella Daish. 

Since 2018 Daish has been raising awareness for the amount of plastic that’s in many period products, in some cases up to 90%. She started the #EndPeriodPlastic campaign and has met with manufacturers and governments to highlight the harm that single-use menstruation products are having. 

Currently, pads are the most popular menstrual hygiene products used by people around the world. They’re closely followed by tampons. Depending on the brand you buy both products are wrapped in plastic. Pads have a leak-proof base and wings made of plastic. Many tampons have plastic applicators. It’s been estimated that an individual goes through 11,000 menstrual products in their lifetime. They can be used for six to eight hours and then must be thrown away where they can take centuries to decompose. 

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Connecting Capital To Game-Changing Entrepreneurs: Investors Show Growing Interest In Stakeholder-Focused Opportunities

Techstars Sustainability Accelerator in Partnership with The Nature Conservancy connects social ... [+] entrepreneurs with investors, corporations, and others to advance and scale innovative work to address global challenges like climate change.

Kari Geha

In his role as managing director of the Techstars Sustainability Accelerator in Partnership with The Nature Conservancy, Zach Nies connects social entrepreneurs with investors, corporations, and others to advance and scale innovative work to address global challenges like climate change. This is a gap left open by Silicon Valley, where, as Nies puts it, the math requires massive, rapid scaling for the investments to be workable. That makes it challenging for entrepreneurs who are operating on a longer term vision to solve ongoing global challenges.

“We’re probably most known for accelerator programs and the belief that entrepreneurs have the ability to create a better future,” he says of the Boulder, Colorado-based Certified B Corporation. “That’s why we’ve built a worldwide network to help entrepreneurs succeed.”

Most of that work is done through the 45 Techstars accelerator programs. Nies’ program Techstars Sustainability Accelerator is operated in partnership with The Nature Conservancy, a nonprofit focused on land and water conservation. Selecting companies that align with The Nature Conservancy’s mission amplifies their work and creates opportunities for future partnerships. One example that Nies points to is 2NDNATURE, a company that created technology to help city governments curb stormwater pollution through a cloud-based platform and standardized data collection.

Nies is a longtime proponent of purpose-driven business thanks to his previous role at Rally Software, which was the first B Corp to go public and helped introduce investors to the stakeholder-minded concept that incorporates creating benefit to people and planet as well as generating profit. Since then he has seen the investor mindset start to shift and further embrace companies that focus on more than generating profit. Recently I spoke with Nies to learn more about Techstars and get his thoughts on the state of impact investing as part of my research on purpose-driven business.

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We are all seeing red over the government's Green Homes Grant

We applied for a grant under the government’s Green Homes Grant scheme, 12 days after it started, to replace our gas boiler with an air source heat pump. We’d already signed a contract with a registered installer, CB Heating. That was five weeks ago.

When I chased the scheme, I was told that high demand was causing delays. I was then contacted by the installer who told me the scheme had led to a surge in demand and they had no further capacity before it expires at the end of March. Other installers we have contacted are also fully booked. Even if we eventually receive a grant, the scheme only allows us three months to make use of it.

BC, Romford, Essex

You are among hundreds of householders to have been caught out by the initiative which sounds promising on paper, but is hamstrung by its own terms and conditions. Launched in September, it provides up to £5,000 towards eco-friendly home improvements, and up to £10,000 for households on low incomes.

However, the grants were initially only valid until March 2021 and work has to be carried out by certified traders registered with TrustMark. The complexity and expense of qualifying for such a short-term scheme has meant that only a few traders are registered and homeowners wanting to take advantage of the subsidy are unable to find an installer.

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