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Keepmoat’s journey into ECO and the Green Deal

This time last year, Keepmoat was upgrading more than 500 solid wall homes every week with external wall insulation (as well as other energy efficiency measures) with funding support under the Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP).

We had terrific levels of uptake servicing projects up and down the country, in many cases improving 100% of solid wall homes in the communities we worked in irrespective of housing tenure. This was often driven by word of mouth due to great feedback from householders on the new found warmth in their homes, significant reductions in their gas bills and the improved appearance of their streets.

It was also this time last year that Keepmoat proudly became one of the first companies to achieve Green Deal Provider status. However, as there was a slow start to Green Deal finance, we initially focused our attention on works supported by Energy Company Obligation (ECO) funding. We aimed to manage our transition into ECO by continuing to insulate solid wall homes under the Carbon Emission Reduction Obligation (also known as CSO – the Carbon Saving Obligation), make use of the Home Heat Cost Reduction Obligation (also known as Affordable Warmth) to lift households out of fuel poverty and continue to upgrade homes in the most deprived communities under the Carbon Saving Communities Obligation (CSCO).

Building on the excellent relationships developed with the obligated energy companies under CESP, Keepmoat has expanded many existing external wall schemes into neighbouring areas. We are now steadily ramping up our delivery with major new area-based solid wall and hard to treat cavity insulation schemes.

We have developed our internal systems and processes to deliver under the new Green Deal and ECO frameworks, including delivering a number of successful DECC supported Go Early pilot projects and we have helped a number of our customers claim Green Deal cashback funding. So far this year, we have successfully delivered more than £18m of ECO funding under the new OFGEM procedures for CSO/CSCO as well as under the more challenging Affordable Warmth requirements.

Much of this early work, supported by ECO funding, has focused on tackling fuel poverty and we have established successful partnerships with a number of Local Authorities. A great example of this is our new Warm Homes Oldham service which aims to lift 1,000 people out of fuel poverty this year. This has been set up with support from Oldham Council, NHS Oldham Clinical Commissioning Group and Oldham Housing Investment Partnership. The financial rationale of the scheme is the shared belief that by tackling fuel poverty we can reduce the cost burden on health care and social services.

Keepmoat is optimistic about the year ahead. There are always teething problems with any major new initiative, however we fully expect that we will be motoring ahead again soon. We hope to test and adopt a range of new incentives to help drive uptake of Green Deal under the DECC Community Energy Funding.

As the Green Deal and ECO funding enables our business and our supply chain of local companies to grow, we will also have employed and trained more people in new and exciting jobs. By this time next year, we believe we will have lifted thousands more homes out of fuel poverty across Great Britain.

Filed under: Green Deal, Saving energy

Comments: 6 Comments on Keepmoat’s journey into ECO and the Green Deal
Posted on: Oct 11 2013

6 Responses to “Keepmoat’s journey into ECO and the Green Deal”

  1. Having attended many of the DECC roadshows promoting the Green Deal we set up a new business as a Green Deal Provider with the objective of geting SMEs involved which we were told was one of the objectives. We have secured some funding under ECO for external wall insulation but in most cases anyone applying for a Green Deal to pay for EWI will not be able to fully qualify even with 50% ECO funding so some personal funding will be required. In spite of having invested a substantial sum in setting up as a Green Deal Provider we have not yet found any Green Deals that are financially attractive enough for a customer to take up. No measure that qualifies can be fully funded by a Green Deal loan so customer expectations are not met. That, coupled with the long-term liability of the Provider makes Green Deal a very unattrctive proposition for us as a Provider. Unless DECC makes some significant changes and quickly, the Green Deal will die a swift death. Like many others who have invested in training for the Green Deal I feel that we have been mislead by DECC.

  2. Sounds like a substantial reduction in work; going from 500 measures per day to only £18m funding this year via ECO!

    Understand why you would be optimistic for the year ahead.

  3. […] Despite this, ECO (the Energy Company Obligation), a parallel scheme aimed at tackling fuel poverty and at risk homes seems to be going from strength to strength, as indicated in the following piece on the DECC blog: http://blog.decc.gov.uk/2013/10/11/keepmoats-journey-into-eco-and-the-green-deal/ […]

  4. John Watts says:

    Please explain why i cannot proceed with the GD.I paid British Gas £99.00 for the assessment in January, I approached three providers for the next step, they all said before they can proceed they would need the XML file and the EPR report. British Gas refused me and my providers this information. It seems that the only way ahead for a freezing pensioner to get external insulation is to pay for another assessment by my providers who then can proceed. Thanks British Gas you will get me TWICE this winter.

  5. Please tell me where I can read details of the solid wall insulation schemes and how they were funded. I have tried for years to get a grant to help my ex-council 1929 solid wall semi-detached house externally insulated. Since Green Deal I have asked twice – and both times was told that “solid wall extrenal insulation is not fundable under green deal because the projected savings are less than the interest to be charged on the £10k estimated capital cost”. I also asked recently the same question about my (now) 1834 rural country cottage in Scotland and was given the same answer. So, please explain and post the financial details of how it works out.

  6. John Martin says:

    good news and this ethos is surely what Green Deal and ECO are all about not a minute too soon given the news from SSE this morning

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