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2012: An exciting year for the Green Deal

Firstly, Happy New Year!

2012 will be a crucial year for the coalition’s flagship policy of transforming the energy efficiency of Britain’s homes – the Green Deal.  The DECC webchat before Christmas, events and the hundreds of consultation responses we have received illustrates there is a lot of interest in this policy.

Stakeholders have been crucial in helping shape the policy prior to the consultation. Your expertise and technical knowledge have been invaluable and I know my officials are looking forward to considering your detailed responses once the consultation closes at midnight today, 18 January.

The DECC Green Deal and ECO webchat, available to replay on the DECC website, was a great opportunity for my officials to hear your views. Another fine example of how technology can be used to engage with people was the Green Deal webinar organised by the Great British Refurb as part of the ‘Sustainability Now virtual conference.’ I thoroughly enjoyed answering questions and discussing the issues with Kevin McCloud, Paul King the Chair, Sally Hancox (director of Gentoo Green) and Steven Heath (External Affairs Director in Knauf Insulation). Discussion like these are extremely important to enable us to hear the views of those stakeholders that are not always present at commercial events.

Great British Refurb has an important role in broadening the sector of the British public that is aware of, understands and cares about the issues around home energy refurbishment. Their innovative methods of engaging with the public to encourage them to green their homes is very exciting. For instance, the Great British Refurb film competition is a fantastic opportunity for budding filmmakers to showcase their talents and to explore new ways of engaging the public on energy efficiency in the run up to the Green Deal.  I am looking forward to watching the competition entries when I sit on the judging panel.

Developing the Green Deal really is a joint effort. The consultation has been the latest opportunity to contribute and share your detailed views, and I also look forward to continuing stakeholder dialogue over the next few months up to launch.

Filed under: Green Deal

Comments: 31 Comments on 2012: An exciting year for the Green Deal
Posted on: Jan 18 2012

31 Responses to “2012: An exciting year for the Green Deal”

  1. Al Green says:

    The Green Deal is not just about the domestic sector. It applies to non-domestic as well. The focus always appears to be on domestic. Communication is definitely key. Both domestic and non-domestic stakeholders do not know about or do not understand what the Green Deal wil be

  2. Douglas Broadhurst says:

    Can you explain how the number of jobs in renewable energy reported in “Renewable Energy Road Map July 2011″ was ‘already more than a quarter of a million’ (Page 4) whereas the European Commission reported on the 13th February 2012 that the UK currently employs [only] 31,700 in the renewable energy industry?

    Just exactly where are the other 220,000 employed?

  3. Mike Shamash says:

    Its great that you have placed a blog up for people to comment on this (as well as the consultation).

    the majority of people we have heard in the social housing sector have been very concerned that the Green deal will (inadvertently?) result in a lower take up of energy saving activities and lead to worsening fuel poverty.

    We have written more details on our views on the scheme and how it may lead to increased fuel poverty. see thepeoplespower.co.uk/energy/fuel-poverty-and-government-policy

  4. Gerald Burke says:

    I would like to know who will be responsible for product regulation/standards and quality, for products used in domestic and commercial properties, to ensure those products will provide the Carbon saving claimed by the manufacturers?

  5. Green Deal Team says:

    Thank you for everyone who responsed to Greg’s blog, it is useful to hear from the many people who have an interest in the Green Deal and we will be taking on board these comments as part of the consultation process.
    For those respondents that mentioned difficulties in understanding the Green Deal and what it means for both the domestic and non-domestic sector, we recognise that the policy is complex. That is why we were keen to get out and about to talk to as many of you as possible during the consultation period. The forum discussions, webchat comments, blog responses and Green Deal events have been an incredibly valuable source of information. To help explain the policy, alongside the Code of Practice, we will be producing additional guidance to assist those involved (or looking to be involved) throughout the supply chain.
    In response to Mal Bennett’s comment on February 10 at 2:39, we can direct you to further information regarding your query on qualifications needed to assess houses. The Sector Skills Council that looks after the energy assessment sector is called Asset Skills. The homepage providing information about skills for energy assessors is at: http://www.assetskills.org/PropertyAndPlanning/EnergyAssessment/EnergyAssessorsHome.aspx. Specifically, the information about qualification and accreditation for energy assessors is found at: http://www.assetskills.org/PropertyAndPlanning/EnergyAssessment/Accreditation.aspx.

  6. Mal Bennett says:

    After yesterdays announcement that customers need a EPC cert of D rating and above in order for customers to benefit from the FITS payment.
    I called the DECC for clarification of what qualification was needed in order to assess houses.
    Guess what! No one knew! You passed me on to a person dealing with GREEN DEAL accreditations. Guess what? they didn’t know.
    If your going to introduce a standard. at least brief your staff properly!
    We have been told three different things by three companies we have approached on this. Thanks again for making things so easy!!!!!!

  7. Peter Jenny says:

    I agree with Green deal and I think LED Lights and LED Lighting system including bulbs, tube lights might be a step ahead towards green living as they are cost effective and emit less UVs than usuall CFLs

  8. The Green Deal is not just about the domestic sector. It applies to non-domestic as well. The focus always appears to be on domestic. Communication is definitely key. Both domestic and non-domestic stakeholders do not know about or do not understand what the Green Deal wil be

  9. Paul Steverson says:

    On average I would state that the first 17 comments are not overly impressed with the government’s handling of the Feed in tariff changes and lawsuit. Likewise the HIP’s fiasco was not well managed.

    However,
    We have to take the economic investments choices first, (it is not as if we are supporting a local solar panel industry, they are all imported devices).

    Most of the comments are of a ‘self interest’ kind . i.e. I run a instalation company …therefore we should continue…

    So to continue in the self interest vein …. I resent paying 43p / kwh to someone else who has installed units, so that some venture capitalist funding the system can get rich quick.

    The most effective payback method is to increase energy efficiency of homes by greater insulation, and using more efficient appliances and lighting. All the other methods pale into insignificance in comparison.

    Big investments in big savings are usually a better option in reducing CO2 emissions economically, convert cars to electric propulsion, invest in Nuclear generating capacity, make cement from combusible waste not coal or gas etc.

    • Martyn Cripps says:

      Paul
      I totally agree with you.

    • Mal Bennett says:

      You don’t pay anything to those who have solar. It’s a total spin by the big 6. The pot for FITS is paid for by surcharges placed on the big 6. It comes straight from their profit pot. They have said they have had to pass on the cost to bill payers to turn people like yurself against those who have opted for the cleaner, greener solar power.

  10. Mal Bennett says:

    Added to that the fact that this “Deal” is there to help families save money by having more efficient homes, therefore spending less on energy bills. Which will be more beneficial to the poorest families. But how does this work when an assessor says that,you need to make 8 measures to your home to get the C rating. We can loan you some money for 5 measures but unfortunatly you need a futher 3 measure that you need to finance. Where does a family struggling to get by find any money? Guess what? You can’t just do the 5 you have to do everything on the assessors list or get no “Goldern rule Green deal Loan”

    This could be open to abuse from assessors (not all, but some. Maybe the ones on commission!!!) to only put down the 5 measures and omit the 3 that have to be paid for. Um! and duck!

  11. Mal Bennett says:

    To get the solar Feed-In-Tariff when the Green Deal hits. Your house will have to be rated C or above.

    So do we (the solar companies) have to pay for a assessor to visit?

    If the assessor tells the customer the house does not meet the requirements for C rating and they will need to do 8 measures to comply but only 5 are covered by the golden rule. The customer has to payout for the other 3 measures. So having just paid for the 3 measures they can then pay the installation costs for Solar PV. With the new fits rate( after April 1st) it takes about 14 years to pay back the ave solar PV installation plus the cost of the 3 measures that were needed to become a C rating. This could result in zero returns unless you stay in the property for the 25 year period of the solar FITs payment.

    • Stevie D, FUELSAVER says:

      The Green Deal could be great for helping homeowners install energy saving equipment, however, the biggest problem i see is getting access to the funds available. If it is too difficult to tick all the boxes to get the cash installers and homeowners will not commit.
      Solar PV.! If it the F.I.T. was not available, would you install it.?????
      Why has so many new companies appeared on the scene offering PV panels for FREE.?? it is to get their hands on government/taxpayers cash.

      Solar Thermal and Heat Pumps, would you install them WITHOUT the RHI.?
      Yes, in OFF GAS areas.!!!!
      And i think this will be the direction of the RHI.
      This raises another problem regarding the quality of the installation and the installer. Many installers like to “bang In” boilers but when it comes to new technologies many installers are lacking and some actually walk away from these installations.

      Never mind, more for me!

  12. Marc Buck says:

    I think the Green Deal is a fantastic oppurtunity for owners of very poorly insulated properties, particularly non traditional BISF properties, well known for the lack of insulation they posses.

    Green Deal Golden Rule Concerns for those most in need.

    Many owners of BISF houses already suffer from fuel poverty or have low incomes.
    These properties are in desperate need of thermal renovation and the Green Deal on the surface appears to be the ideal solution.
    However occupants at present tend to only heat one or two rooms that they occupy during the day because they simply cannot afford to switch on central heating systems or heat the entire house due to the the cost being so prohibitive to them.
    My My concern is that will this limited use of fuel due to circumstance be taken into account when the properties fuel usage is evaluated to meet the golden rule?
    ie How will expected financial savings be equal to or greater than the costs attached to the energy bill if the consumers usage is so low simply because the property is so thermally inefficient and will this be factored into the evaluation?

    • Stuart McShane says:

      This is where the Governments new tax, the Energy Companies Obligation’s (ECO’s), on the energy industry come in. The new levy was £1.3billion in 2011 and is only estimated to grow. These ECO”s, on the big energy companies, are a way, by the government, of raising the money, from the companies that profit most from old draughty homes, to train people to install this new retro-fitting and to help those most in need and with non-standard insulation requirements. Nobody is trying to say this is a perfect solution but when the energy companies themselves are the major stakeholders as well. This creates the situation where the energy companies are paying for the required measures and materials (components), to lower the fuel consumption of a building to be carried out by a qualified fitter trained using their money. This creates a situation where a supplier pays for a customer to lower his consumption of his own product. Its unheard of and if administered properly a fantastic opportunity to insert money directly into the Industry when, in these hard economic times, it is sorely needed.

  13. The term “Green Deal” means little or nothing to 99% of the population.
    People have more immediate aims – they want to save money, not the planet!
    We need to force-incentivise people to insulate their homes.
    Loft insulation should be “free” but compulsory. Increase the green levy on our gas/electric bills to pay for this.
    Same thing for solar panels, ground pumps etc.

    People will not spend large amounts of hard earned cash on difficult to evaluate, long payback equipment and services, no matter how noble the cause.

  14. Russell says:

    Good point from David and Mal – convincing independant assessors to spend the extra money on training after the HIPS experience is going to be tricky. The only people who will pay to do the training are the energy suppliers who will have the monopoly on assessors – which is not good when the assessment is supposed to be independant ?! And who is going to pay for the assessment ?

  15. I have to concur with Green Deal – the general public has simply no idea of the Green Deal and what it could mean for them. Communication from the DECC has to be improved massively.

  16. David A Dip HI says:

    There are many thou Home Inspectors who paid between 5 and 8k (+ travel, accom, study materials and neccessary tools fees). to address the Goverments requirement (and I stress REQUIREMENT) to introduce HIPS and the key component on Home condition surveys. when many of us were 3/4 way through the course, the HCS requirement was dropped by the govt. in late 2011 the Home Inspector qual was formally de-recognised by the govt and asset skills.
    Summary: govt plan, requirement, invest, left in the lurch. (NB I am aware that there now currently claims against the CLG for reimbursement)

    Roll on 2012.
    The Govt require ‘everyone ‘ to train as green deal advisors.
    To avoid doubt – all current DEAs must pass the April 991 convention uplift (another £120 + another £75 course fee x how many 1,000′s in the pocket for the accred bodies). Even after this, during the summer there will be AN ADDITIONAL COURSE AND EXAM to pass to become a GDA. such a course is likely to be in the region of £1,500.
    Deja Vous?
    To stay in the game, every DEA must gain additional the GDA qualification only to find that Green deal providers (AND ACCREDITATION BODIES AFFILIATED TO GREEN DEAL PROVIDERS -DEALS HAVE AREADY BEEN MADE WITH BIG DIY STORES, MERCHANTS, ETC) have already got their own GDA’s on board, offering EPC;’s for free, and fleecing everyone left right and centre.

    The GD scheme smells of HIPs mark 2, and has every sign of crashing and burning the same way.

  17. Mal Bennett says:

    Good luck in trying to get the public interested in the Green Deal. I can say that everyone of my customers has ZERO confidence in the DECC after hanging out the solar industry the way you have. Greenest Government in history!!!!! Tell that to the 10 men I have just had to lay off. We entered into this industry to provide green, clean energy to people and help them save money and do their bit for the enviroment. All you are doing is putting people on the dole by your time wasting, feeble, hollow appeals. All to keep the Big 6 happy as the feed in tariff is paid for by their surcharges. Funny how you can find £32 BILLION for a train line but no money for and extra month of the 43.3 tariff sign ups.
    I call for you Mr Barker and you Mr Huhne to resign. Vote anyone but the Cons and Lib dems.

  18. David C says:

    How is this going to be rolled out successfully when training criteria for Green Deal Assessors has yet to be set and therefore no trained and qualified GDAs exist ?
    There is a potential for rushed and poor quality training resulting in insufficient GDAs come October 2012

  19. Dan says:

    As a small electrical business, that has invested a considerable amount of time, energy & money into becoming an accredited Solar PV installer, I am incensed with the continuing appeals by the Government of the FIT eligibility tariff date! It seems that the Government are simply appealling the rulings of the High Court & Appeal Court to add uncertainty to an already highly confusing situation. I do not see why Government do not let the higher 43p rate be available until the 3rd March & then after this date, everyone will know the rate is 21p! As a result of the appeal to the Supreme Court we do not know which rate will apply if we install between now & 3rd March, which makes it impossible for a potential customer who wants to make an informed choice. The appeal to the Supreme Court seems frivolous and stubborn, which, when my livelihood and business is at stake, make me extremely angry. The way the Government have handled this is amateur and not at all how a Government should handle a situation with far reaching impacts. If the Government had got its house in order on the original consulation / amendment then this subsequent mess would not have occurred and we as an industry would be moving forward with clarity. As it stands, we must be the renewable energy laughing stock of Europe. The mismanagement of the situation will not bode well for future ‘Green’ initiatives the Government try to roll out because they will all be looked upon with suspicion.

    • simon ward says:

      hi, i 100% agree with dan ( the last response) i am in the exact same position as you having invested alot of time and money into the industry and words cannot describe how angree i am about the decision to appeal again to the supreme court. i have around 12 customers wanting to install pv, but untill we know what rate it is at i cannot start the work, putting me in a very difficult position trying to stay afloat and not lose my livelehood and house. They will appeal and appeal and appeal untill the 3rd of march to squash demand for new installs. If mr Barker is reading this, i will be homeless by the 3rd of march and i certainly wont be in a position to be installing pv. i beleive this would be called a ”good result” for the DECC.
      PLEASE accept that you have got it wrong, have some dignity and give some certainty to the industry before there isnt an industry left. DITCH THE APPEAL!!!

  20. carboncooper says:

    The Green Deal is not just about the domestic sector. It applies to non-domestic as well. The focus always appears to be on domestic. Communication is definitely key. Both domestic and non-domestic stakeholders do not know about or do not understand what the Green Deal wil be

  21. Green Deal says:

    I agree with Ian Brown (first comment).

    The majority of people in the UK have no idea about the Green Deal. It will never take off unless the government do more to promote it and educate the masses of it’s benefits.

  22. Ian Brown says:

    I agree this could be a very exciting year for the Green Deal, although I think the biggest challenge won’t be setting up the framework, but getting each householder to understand it and how it interacts with all the other incentive programmes and grants available.

  23. Arthur Akinyemi says:

    I hope the coalition takes on board the concerns rised during the consultation period. They will be judged on this one.

  24. I’m very glad this consultation process is going better that others have done!

  25. Roger Marmion says:

    I hope now the process is complete, support for the large number of solid wall brick properties will emerge in the form of grants or zero interest loans to install effective and long lasting insulation

  26. Colin lang says:

    I might be a bit slow here as I’ve not been viewing this site very long but at the risk of rebuke will all new homes have solar power panels fitted as normal in the near future?

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