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Launch of the Green Deal and ECO Consulatation

I have often been asked, why is energy efficiency so important? Well, it is a win-win-win scenario: it saves money, creates business opportunities and reduces emissions. As everyone is working to cut costs, energy efficiency is the obvious place to start.

Becoming more energy efficient offers huge potential, and improving the efficiency of our houses and businesses is a great place to begin. This is where the Green Deal comes in. We have the worst performing buildings in Europe, so there is a lot of scope to make progress in this area. I want the Green Deal to be the biggest home improvement campaign this country has seen since the Second World War.

The Green Deal is different to previous energy efficiency policies as it removes the barriers preventing people from making those energy efficiency improvements. The biggest barrier is obviously cost. Through the Green Deal British homes and businesses will be able to upgrade their homes to be fit for the 21st century at no up font cost, and repayments are then made over time out of the energy bill savings. The “golden rule” means that any charge attached must be less than the expected savings from the efficiency improvements.

We have made a good start. We now have the foundations enshrined in the Energy Act 2011 and on 23 November we launched the Green Deal and ECO consultation.

The Green Deal is a big opportunity for us all and we want to make sure we get it right. However, we cannot do this without your help. We really want to hear your views. Please take a look at the consultation document, it is quite long but we wanted to share as much detail as possible. Do let us know if the Green Deal will work for you.

20 Responses to “Launch of the Green Deal and ECO Consulatation”

  1. Carbon Cut UK LTD says:

    It is good to see people are looking for return in good time for there cash
    We have a unique way to retrofit cavity wall insulation in all mid/high rise buildings with continuous cavities, that would have been available, if the Carbon Trust fast-track funding had not been cut.
    Everyone knows it is cheap and is the fastest way to return your investment!
    Also Socail houseing cannot afford the alturnitives

  2. Suzanne Burgess says:

    Lets hope the code of practice is more robust than the REAL Code for microgeneration, which has no teeth and has not prevented some of the most appalling mis-selling.

  3. stephen pearson says:

    Oh dear-this government looked so green and “local”-now it just looks awful. The consultation process was bound to be found wanting in court! Even people in my village were proud of being microgenerators, but the 15 year payback on solar panels is uneconomic for anyone over 60. Why not divert the subsidy from onshore wind turbines (hated by most) into supporting FIT subsidies at a higher level, eg 30-35 p per unit ? Is it because the city prefers the former ? How much would this free up ?

  4. I am very keen on initiatives which attempt to make energy efficiency more enticing to householders since it is a particularly unglamrorous business it seems!

    Given the emphasis on capturing efficiency improvements which pay for themselves through fuel bill savings, and the fact that 75% of housing was built pre 1985 it is surprising that draft reduction measures, identified through a simple air tightness test, do not feature.

    Though the use of “blower doors” for draft testing has been commonplace in energy efficiency improvements in N America for decades here it is only very recently that Building Regulations included a target level of air tightness for new builds. From my experience of testing older properties, the vast majority could make very easy and safe cost effective savings through sealing up the myriad gaps, cracks and holes in the fabric of their homes. I questioned Ofgem several utilities some time ago why the CERT scheme did not make more use of the potential for draft reduction and was told that the problem was getting a standard number for CO2 savings resulting from a test and sealing work. It would require accumulating a large sample size of different property types and savings achieved which no-one had done. This is a pity, since next to behaviour changes I am completely convinced draft reductions are the cheapest and easiest energy efficiency improvements for most older properties. Any thoughts?

    PS I tried to put this on the Q box for the webinar on the 15th but it wasn’t working.

  5. Dave Postles says:

    Stop fracking about – please read the latest report by the EPA on the contamination of groundwater by fracking in Wyoming

    http://www.epa.gov/region8/superfund/wy/pavillion/index.html

  6. Simon Barrett says:

    In reference to the consultation paper question of whether vunrable households could cost effectively use heat pumps to warm there houses.
    I would look to DECC to consider ones that have had solar panels fitted.
    The electric needed to run an air source heat pump would during the day be provided by the solar, thus bringing costs of the energy produced down considerably.

    • Green Deal Team says:

      The Green Deal has been designed to finance the installation of a broad range of technologies that can improve the energy efficiency of the building stock. Around 30 measures will be eligible for finance, including insulation, heating and glazing measures (solar water heating is included in the list). Provided these measures have been shown to improve the energy performance a building they have the potential to be financed through the Green Deal. The list of eligible measures will be updated annually to include new measures that come to the market. Under our proposals for ECO Affordable Warmth, designed to provide support to low income and vulnerable households, we have not specified a list of measures that suppliers must provide. Under our proposals suppliers would be able to provide any measure which reduces the cost of heating the home to an adequate level. Therefore if heat pumps and solar installations are able to meet this requirement, suppliers would be able to choose whether to meet their ECO Affordable Warmth obligation by providing those measures.

  7. Douglas Haigh fidhee says:

    I am very keen to embrace the green deal initiative, I am however finding it difficult to get definitive information on how to qualify as an energy advisor and how my company can be involved in a design and supply role. If we are to expect the first customer in October next year then there is not a lot of time left.

    • Alan Farmer says:

      Hi Douglas,
      This came through from DECC last week, I hope it helps.

      Green Deal Providers’ Roles and Responsibilities
      From mid December, we will be undertaking a series of visits and activities with potential Green Deal providers with the aim of setting out an overview of their role and responsibilities. The first of these will be run with the UK Green Building Council.
      We are also organising a series of practical monthly workshops with potential Green Deal providers, to discuss the specific requirements and technical issues of the role. We will issue invitations for these sessions shortly. If you would like more information or to attend please email green.deal@decc.gsi.gov.uk with the subject heading ‘Green Deal Providers’ Roles & Responsibilities’.

    • Green Deal Team says:

      Many thanks for your comment. Green Deal Advisors will need to be active members of an accredited Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPD) Accreditation Scheme for either Domestic Energy Assessors (DEAs) or Non-Domestic Energy Assessors (NDEAs), as appropriate to the sector you would like to provide Green Deal Assessments for. We expect training for the Green Deal Advisors to be available from Spring 2012, further updates on training will become available on the DECC website at a later date.
      More information on Green Deal Advisors is available on the DECC website at http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/tackling/green_deal/gd_industry/advisors/advisors.aspx

  8. Andrew Hodchild says:

    The Green Deal will be good so long as we can believe in it?!

    Can we?

    I for one wont be believing much after my last five weeks with FiT’s Fiasco.

    Energy Efficiency is good so long as it is done well. I saw drought proofing in the early 80′s and in the big numbers game £100 or so per house was spent. This was so 0.5m homes could have “measures done”. Needless to say the whole exercise was a waste of money. Drought proofing windows which need replacing is madness. We need, the planet needs, us to get it right.

    • Green Deal Team says:

      Many thanks for your comments. The Green Deal will allow customers to make energy efficiency savings and the list of eligible measures are set out in the consultation document. For example cavity wall insulation saves on average £120 a year, and solid wall insulation can save over £300 a year. Initially most of the bill savings may be used to pay the Green Deal charge – until the cost of installing the measures is repaid – at which point all savings will go to the customer. The sooner people take up the Green Deal, the sooner they will make these savings and protect the customer against energy price rises.

  9. Alan Farmer says:

    We have followed the progress of the Green Deal from the beginning with great anticipation and have been frustrated as I imagine many others have, seeing the launch date being set later and later. Now that everything is in place and the date is set we hope that many more will help push it with the same passion you obviously have. I hope that the screening process for potential suppliers will be very strict so that the right companies get to be a part of it for the right reasons, this is the way to ensure that the public benefit from professionalism and quality as well a reduction in their fuel bills.

    • Green Deal Team says:

      Thank you for your comments. Consumer protection is vital to ensure the Green Deal is a success and we have built this into every stage of the customer journey. To ensure customers are confident in the standards of workmanship they will receive under the Green Deal, we are working through the existing trade certification schemes to ensure Green Deal assessor and installer standards are properly applied. We’ve also introduced a requirement for independent third party accreditation of the certification bodies by UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service). This will ensure consistency of approach and robust standards.
      In addition, all products and systems installed under the Green Deal must be quality assured. Only products that meet the requirements of the Green Deal Code of Practice can be installed. A process will be in place from summer 2012 for manufacturers and suppliers to confirm that their products and systems comply with the Code – that they are Green Deal ready. Those products and systems will be listed by a Green Deal Oversight Body. A representative sample number of listed products will be spot-checked by the Oversight Body for compliance with the Code and could be struck off the list if they are found not to comply.

      More information is available at the DECC website:
      http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/tackling/green_deal/

  10. Simon Lomax says:

    Before Mr Barker continues with his blind enthusiasm for the Green Deal, he might want to consult with his colleagues to identify exactly which energy saving measures satisfy the Golden Rule. It is a very short list.

    • Green Deal Team says:

      The Green Deal has been designed to finance the installation of a broad range of measures. The measures eligible for possible Green Deal finance are set out in the consultation document.

      The Golden Rule principle limits the amount of Green Deal finance available to the total estimated energy bill savings that are likely to result from the installation of measures in that property. It is aimed at providing customers with a reasonable expectation that they will not face increased costs as a result of the Green Deal charge being added to their bills.

      This ensures that even those measures which do not yet create enough fuel bill savings to fully off-set their costs can still benefit from Green Deal finance. In this instance the Green Deal could part-finance the installation of measures.

      • Simon Lomax says:

        Measures that somehow meet the Golden Rule – and that means loft insulation and cavity wall insulation – will only deliver significant financial benefit once the Green Deal loan has been settled. Therefore, the Green Deal may only appeal to those who expect to remain in their property for a lengthy period.

        That said, I can see why the politicians like the concept; it is easy to present and it sounds jolly appealing.

        The problem is that the underlying policy substance doesn’t support the ambition.

        Let’s take a property which could benefit from five discrete energy saving measures. Let’s assume, for a moment, that all five, in isolation, meet the Golden Rule.

        Do they still meet the GR when combined?

        This is a very challenging question and depends upon many interactions. For example, the cost/efficiency of a renewable heating system will alter dramatically depending upon whether the solid walls are insulated.

        Is DECC seriously suggesting that it will conjure up a means of assessing the combined impact of these measures accurately to ensure the Golden Rule is still met?

        And to ensure take-up – and Barker is woffling on about an astonishing number of Green Deal participants by 2020 – how accurate will the projections need to be to ensure take-up?

        Of course, if the measures don’t combine to deliver the projected savings, the homeowner will not be impressed and there will be issues around the collection of the GD loan payments.

        Worse, any inquest will have to establish whether the problem lies with the assessment, the projection software, the quality of the energy saving equipment or the quality of its installation. The prevailing price of energy will also have a strong influence. Heaven help the Green Deal participants should it fall (as heating oil prices have over the past year).

        Oh, and if the home-owner has altered their behaviour following installation of the measures (ie. turned their room thermostat up a little) that alone could wipe out the projected savings.

        Hopefully the consultation process will highlight the many outstanding issues to DECC.

  11. A great policy that will enable homes to be improved as well as much needed work for companies.

  12. The Green Deal is a great step forward in allowing people without access to capital to improve their homes. An energy efficient home is a warmer home which will cost less to heat in winter and help to reduce fuel bill costs. I am looking forward to these plans finally becoming a reality so that the standard of UK accommodation can be significantly raised.

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