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Green Deal in Birmingham

With the Green Deal launched just over a fortnight ago, I have been very impressed to see such enthusiasm around the energy efficiency retrofit agenda – from industry and communities alike – during my visit to Birmingham today.

My first stop involved meeting a range of local organisations who are engaging with community groups on energy efficiency. Thanks to Birmingham City Council and Carillion, who hosted the event, I was able to see for myself how the Green Deal is really opening up a dynamic market for industry to work with partners from across the public, private and third sectors to drive forward a revolution in home retrofit at a local level.

I have seen evidence of a budding supply chain – with numerous skilled people being trained up – in order to take advantage of the many business opportunities afforded by the Green Deal. I had the pleasure of meeting 15 trainees undertaking the last day of their Green Deal assessor training at the Green Works Academy. This excellent facility, which offers training and certification for people aspiring to work in the Green Deal market, is testament to the growing need for quality services in energy efficiency across the country. According to the CBI, one third of the UK’s growth last year came from green business. The UK energy efficiency market is worth £17.6bn per year and supports 136,000 jobs and is growing. The market is evidently responding.

I have also today visited one of a series of Nearer to Zero events, which have been held over the last year across the country. Hosted by Birmingham City Council, this event brought together key industry figures in the building sector to promote the benefits and opportunities of the zero carbon homes and energy efficiency retrofit agendas. The event has come at no better time. Buildings in the UK are among some of the least efficient in the world and account for 38 per cent of the UK’s total greenhouse gas emissions. I was delighted to see so many organisations – from local planning authorities to house builders and developers – preparing to upgrade the country’s 26.9 million existing homes. The Green Deal truly is creating a new market, with new players and huge opportunities for national and local businesses!

So, I feel privileged to be able to visit Birmingham today to see the real action that is taking place to ensure the launch of the Green Deal gets off to a successful start. Well done everyone, and keep up the good work!

7 Responses to “Green Deal in Birmingham”

  1. Ralph says:

    As with all of these new schemes the Green Deal was launched without enough training and is now at serious risk of falling over. So many schemes are launched with poor training programs and even worse – poor trainers. Of the people I have met trying to use the Green deal scheme most have been confused and unsure of the correct process. Perhaps I have just been unlucky.

  2. Tom Fletcher says:

    Keep up the positive approach Baroness.

    The ‘top end’ are aware of the issues the Green Deal has encountered and are actively addressing each one without making a drama.

    The Green Deal is here and here to stay and now lets just get on and do what needs doing – reducing CO2, making homes warmer and saving money and reducing energy bills!

    With Solar PV added to the energy efficient mix – homes can protect themselves from future [guaranteed] electricity price rises by generating their own.

  3. The comment above regarding the lack of individual competence standards for MCS GD installers causes me even greater concern on top of my existing. Why is the work not going to the many installers who have invested heavily in becoming MCS certified and have already learned lessons the hard way?
    The link to our discussion as impartial professional Engineers on the Green Deal (which I previously tried to post) is below.

    http://www.linkedin.com/groupAnswers?viewQuestionAndAnswers=&discussionID=209840630&gid=75555&commentID=120435673&trk=view_disc&ut=3HSeTlx_Z0eRE1

  4. The National Skills Academy for Environmental Technologies was pleased to welcome Baroness Verma, together with staff from the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), to its stand at the Nearer to Zero conference on 14 February. At the event the Academy was able to update on the provision for Green Deal competence and environmental technologies training provision across its network of over 100 training providers in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

    Information on the new National Skills Academy Register of Trained Installers was provided, along with the trainer and learner manuals and e-learning courses that have been developed to support delivery of quality accredited training courses mapped to National Occupational Standards (NOS). A copy of the Academy’s ‘consumer guide’ Creating an energy efficient and sustainable home was also available.

    At present the Skills Academy is still keenly awaiting the announcement on individual competence, which was identified within the Microgeneration Strategy Government Industry Action plan and initially due in November 2011. We hope the announcement will indicate how the UK will meet the measures for 2009/28/EC directive, which came into operation in January 2013. At present the lack of guidance is having an effect on the expected numbers being trained to meet the relevant Minimum Technical Competencies.

    It also means that currently the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) individual competence standards within Green Deal are less rigorous than some other measures. The Green Deal Skills Alliance have identified that up to 60% of the workforce will require upskilling in environmental technologies.

    As Green Deal delivery increases and the Academy works to ensure an individually competent workforce, Baroness Verma was also briefed on the Academy’s partnership with Jobcentre Plus, funded by the Skills Funding Agency, to provide unemployed but qualified plumbers, heating engineers and electricians across England with the opportunity to upskill and support their move back into employment.

  5. Bruce Boucher says:

    I am pleased Baroness Verma enjoyed her day, it is a shame that the top end of GD is not in stride with the actual facts of the state of the Green Deal. I suggest she looks at the Industries professional engineers concern over the GD on Linkedin

  6. Baroness Verma. You would see even more enthusiasm in this sector if Voltage Optimisation were included.

    The whole of Whitehall benefits from Voltage Optimisation as does the Prime Minister himself. It is time that the man in the street was allowed to access this technology through the Govt’ flagship Green programme.

    Anything you can do to hasten progress would be appreciated.

  7. Tony Johnstone says:

    I can only assume the Baroness has not read the posts – on the DECC web site – from the many assessors trying to make sense of GD.

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