Government must promote green grants by cutting red tape – Alliance

Alliance Spokesperson, Cllr Alan Lawther, has called on government to make it easier for people to apply for grants to install solar panels. He has demanded that government cut bureaucracy to ensure people are not put off applying for the grants which help them to install green energy systems. Alan Lawther’s comments come on the day that the Secretary of State, Peter Hain visited a home Carrickfergus where a solar panel had been installed, to promote the scheme.

The Antrim Councillor stated: “This is a good scheme and has the potential to greatly help protect the environment. However the grant application process is extremely difficult and costly.

“At the moment, if people want to apply, they must gain planning permission and building control for many of these energy systems. These cost considerable sums of money and are sometimes difficult to obtain.

“People must also obtain a number of quotes for the installation of the green energy system. Doing so can be difficult, because there are so few companies which do work in this sector in Northern Ireland.

“Government must cut the red tape which is stopping more people applying for this initiative. Also, recent figures suggested that only a third of all applicants are successful in obtaining a grant because the process is so difficult to complete. Figures released last month suggested that only 186 of the 514 applicants have been successful and bizarrely, the government were unable to explain why so many applications had been turned down.”

Alan Lawther concluded :”The government must cut bureaucracy and making this process easier, because getting more homes to use green energy systems will bring large benefit to the environment in the long run.”


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