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Changes to the Green Deal and the Energy Company Obligation

As part of the Energy Bills announcements earlier this week, the government outlined proposed changes to ECO, and announced that £540 million will be made available over the next three years to boost energy efficiency.  £450 million of the £540 million will be aimed at households and private landlords.  Alongside this, the Green Deal is also being improved to make it more attractive for consumers and to remove unnecessary cost for companies.

Reforming Green Deal

In establishing Green Deal, we set the conditions to grow Britain’s energy efficiency market.  It is still early days but activity so far shows a growing number of participants are keen to take advantage of this new market and consumers are being inspired to make their homes more efficient. Over 100,000 assessments have been undertaken since January, with our research suggesting they are being well received and action taken: over 80% of those households assessed have already improved or are taking active steps to improve their home’s energy efficiency. That’s an encouraging start. But new markets take time to establish and Green Deal is no different. 

In these formative months for this new market we have worked closely with industry and listened to consumer groups and individual consumers. We have heard the many voices telling us the Green Deal needs to be simpler and more accessible to business and consumers alike. 

So among this week’s announcements are several proposals to streamline and improve Green Deal:  we want to make it easier for businesses to enter this developing market and for consumers to act to make energy saving improvements to their properties.  And we want to work with you to make that happen.

New support for energy efficiency

The proposed new incentives and support we outlined earlier this week will boost take up of energy efficiency measures both for households and for the public sector too. Worth £150m each year for the three years from 2014-15, they will be designed to reward new rather than replacement energy efficiency improvements, dovetailing with the Green Deal to leverage private finance. Importantly, they will ensure that the impact of the changes proposed to ECO as a result of the Green Taxes review is carbon neutral.

This package will include:

  • A stamp duty rebate worth at least £1,000 from Government to spend on important energy-saving measures – equivalent to half the stamp duty on the average house – and more for expensive measures like solid wall insulation – up to £4,000.  All movers, not just those who have paid stamp duty, will be able to benefit, encouraging a whole-house approach and helping around 180,000 households over three years.
  • Targeted investment for more energy efficient homes within the Private Rented Sector (PRS), designed to help landlords meet the minimum standard (EPC E rating) that will be required under the PRS Regulations from April 2018.  We will also encourage landlords to bring their properties up to higher energy efficiency levels faster than the up-coming standards require.
  • £90 million of the overall £540 million package will help improve the energy efficiency of public sector buildings, including schools and hospitals, where an additional £30m will be made available in each of the 3 years from 2014/15 building on the existing successful Public Sector loans programme (SALIX).

 Together with additional, further savings expected to be made from the transport sector, with details to be announced in the Autumn Statement, these schemes will, in total, be designed to deliver total carbon savings of around 0.6Mt per year to maintain progress towards meeting our legally-binding carbon budgets to 2020 and beyond.

 We will work with Green Deal providers, industry and consumer groups to design these new schemes to start from April. 

Immediate changes

 We recognise the importance of giving certainty to industry at this time so we are making some immediate changes that will give a real boost to the supply chain while we design the new schemes and ahead of consulting on our proposed changes to ECO.

There has already been high demand for funds under DECC’s Green Deal Communities competition so a quadrupling of the money available to English local authorities this year to £80m to promote Green Deal on a street by street basis will be a great opportunity for the industry and for the energy efficiency of those communities.

Alongside the Green Deal cash back scheme, which stays open, it will incentivise the delivery of hard to treat cavity and solid wall insulation.   

And we will work actively with obligated energy companies to promote stronger integration of ECO and Green Deal finance so more households can improve their homes 

Energy Company Obligation

The changes to ECO, to be consulted on, include:

  • Reducing the Carbon Obligation (CERO) target by 33%. The 2015 Carbon Saving Communities (CSCO) and Affordable Warmth (AW) targets will remain the same.
  • Extending the ECO scheme to March 2017 with new targets for CERO, CSCO and AW at 2015 levels.
  • Enabling energy suppliers to carry forward any over delivery against 2015 targets to count towards their 2017 targets.
  • Enabling energy suppliers to carry forward over-performance from the predecessor schemes (CERT/CESP) and count it towards their ECO targets.
  • Allowing companies which have delivered substantial early progress against their current CERO target to benefit from an uplift in scores for the measures delivered
  • Extending the CSCO element of ECO from the 15% to the 25% lowest areas on the Index of Multiple Deprivation and simplifying the qualifying criteria.
  • Including District Heating as an allowable primary measure under CERO.
  • Including loft and easy to treat cavity walls as an allowable primary measure under CERO.
  • Introducing and standardising measures to prevent fraud, particularly around loft and easy to treat cavity wall insulation.
  • Introducing a solid wall minima set at 100,000 measures to be delivered by 2017 across all companies and all elements of ECO.

Streamlining and improving the Green Deal: making things simpler

Alongside this package of support for Green Deal, we have also published this week a set of improvements to the Green Deal – to make it simpler and quicker for householders to improve their homes as well as stripping out time and cost for industry, while ensuring that consumers remain properly protected and can rely on work done under the Green Deal Quality Mark.

Starting from January and then over the following months we will make changes in three broad areas:

  • Making Green Deal more accessible to consumers through improved information and signposting;
  • Making it easier for firms to operate in the market; and
  • With the Green Deal Finance Company, making sure the Green Deal  finance offer gives customers what they need.

The market is already seeing simpler documentation available from the Green Deal Finance Company, for example.  By speeding up the processes through which Green Deal Providers are approved then giving those companies more support once they are approved, we will help them to become active quickly, giving consumers more choice in future.

I hope you will welcome these proposals as an important step.

The Green Deal will need to adapt as the energy services market develops, and as consumer attitudes to energy efficiency change.  We will continue to talk with you, across the industry, about your early experiences over the last ten months, and to research how consumers are finding the Green Deal.  We want to hear your views.

The Government is resolutely committed to the Green Deal.  We will continue to work with you to make the Green Deal a success.

102 Responses to “Changes to the Green Deal and the Energy Company Obligation”

  1. […] government will be making their final decision on ECO but, as can be seen from comments on this DECC blog on the consultation, uncertainty across the sector is causing major energy efficiency retrofit […]

  2. The Green Deal has great potential; I’m worried that it’s not being used to its full effect.

  3. Mike Dinmore says:

    Some positive news amidst the doom and gloom has been the surprising boost to our business brought about by the uplift in cash back for EWI.

    For those living in privtaely-owned terraced or semi-detached properties on mains gas (the majority of UK housing stock) the £4000 cash back is worth more than the withdrawn CERO grants.

    We have seen a surge in sign ups from this sector and our opinion is that this scheme should remain in place until December 31st 2014 with work completed by 31st March 2014. This ties in nicely with the end of ECO 1 and enables a fresh start from April 2015 onwards.

    The threat of CERO grants returning in the Autumn at rates of around £45 per ton will equate to around £1800 per semi and lead to a disastrous slow down once again in take-up rates.

    Long live the cash back scheme!!

  4. Ed says:

    Any news on the £1000 stamp duty rebate for energy efficiency measures? I didn’t see any announcements in the budget small print. We’ve bought a house since this policy was announced which needs EE work.

  5. Mervyn Kirk says:

    ECO MPs debate 11th March 2014

    MPs debated the effect of changes to the Energy Company Obligation on the 11 March 2014 in Westminster Hall. Lilian Greenwood, Labour MP for Nottingham South, moved the debate with Greg Barker, Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change, responding on behalf of the Government.

    Footage from Parliament TV of the debate can be viewed at:

    http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=14994

  6. Daniel Moore says:

    Hi, Great Blog post, We are External Wall Insulation installers. Its so important to look into having this done through either the green deal programme or if you decide to go at it yourself. It really can save households alot of money anually but the most important thing here is the eco value. we all need to do our bit and this really helps

  7. Steve Kennedy says:

    What a shambles. 100,000 solid walls treated by 2017? By my reckoning that means it will take over 200 years to treat the UK’s solid wall properties. We will run out of gas first!
    This has gone beyond laughable now. Politacal expediency is being put before the health, wealth and wellbeing of our citizens and the planet.

  8. ian greenwood says:

    as usual, too little, too late

    need to ramp up work and allow bank of England money at 0.5% and cap green investment interest rates at 2%

    please discuss – [REDACTED]

  9. Simeon Parker says:

    Who has been involved in the talks so far, it seems to the SMEs involved that no one is listening to them. The big 6 are driving this to suit their own aims and as energy providers why would they want anyone to save money on their bills surely they want consumers to consume more. That is what they are in business for, to make money, not to help the general public save it. The scheme needs to be taken out of their hands completeley, the paperwork needs to be simplified, the interest rate needs to lowered and eco criteria needs to be overhauled.

  10. Chit Chong says:

    I have set-up my draught proofing and insulation outside ECO and Green Deal and so luckily been an outsider looking on as more and more businesses got burnt and less and less carbon got saved. That said, it is essential that schemes like ECO and Green Deal are made to work, especially for the sake of our children and grand-children who will pay to clear up the climate change we are responsible for.

    There are a number of good ideas in this rethink.

    On the funding side the use of reduced stamp duty is a good incentive and should be extended to council tax rebates for effient homes. The use of outside funding in tandem with Green Deal finance, is much needed, though clearly this brings to question the validity of the “Golden Rule” and the unreasonably high interest rate charged for Green Deal money.

    On the regulatory side, the use of obligatory standards for rentals is good but this should be extended to sale of properties. These obligatory standards should be such as to result in a significant improvement in energy efficiency as there is a risk that not doing so would result in lock-in of those dwellings to an improved but still high level of emissions for many years.

    Having worked on a number of schools, I am sure that the modest increase in funding will not result in a significant reduction in emissions from this sector unless the heads and school management are obligated to do so.

    There are also number of elements which have been missed.

    Carbon saving has not been stated as the aim of these amendments. This becomes apparent when extending the fundable measures for example to district heating for example. Having worked extensively on large scale and small scale district heating schemes it is clear that in itself, district heating is not an automatic carbon saving measure. Indeed, in some cases, for example where residents pay a flat rate, the emissions can be 60% greater than that of comparable dwellings with individual heating systems. Further, some CHP district heating networks depend on the inefficiency of dwellings and networks to ensure a sufficient high summer heat load to enable a profitable level of electricity generation. Such networks may well save carbon in the short term but in the long-term could mean that the dwellings would not be made more efficient because it would damage the economic viability of the CHP system. Other systems can produce significant savings including those which use low carbon heat or effectively designed CHP. The emissions of district heating sshould be compared to other systems to evaluate its suitability for funding.

    Embodied carbon is also an issue which must be addressed, for example, some site blown insulation systems use gases like HFC which have high global warming potential. This must be taken into account in evaluating the carbon savings of the buildings that they are used in.

    The combined ECO and Green Deal package has clearly been reduced as a result of the selfish lobbying by the utility companies and the lack of commitment of the government towards carbon reduction.

    The result of the bulk of this reduction falling on CERO will result in hard to treat properties
    continuing to be a carbon emitting burden on future generations. I strongly believe that these are the properties which must be prioritised as the costs are prohibitive compared to the easy to treat. To a large extent, the easy to treat would be improved as a result of market forces since the payback period for them is already very favourable and will be more so as fuel prices rise.

    Finally as a draught proofing and insulating buisness operating outside Green Deal/ECO, I would look to a reform which does not carry with it such a burden of certification from the various parties involved. Beyond the obvious benefits of ensuring quality and appropriateness of work, this needlessly inflates costs for home owners and social landlords.

  11. Tim Webb says:

    I am the energy editor at The Times researching a piece about how SMEs in the insulation sector have been affected by the changes in ECO.
    If any SME is happy to speak to me on or off the record about their experience, please get in touch.
    My email is tim.webb@thetimes.co.uk
    Many thanks
    Tim

  12. Nick O'Connor says:

    As a ‘green’ contractor in the West Yorkshire area it would appear we are, yet again, going to be a victim of the change in Government policy as many found when the FIT changed for the installation of PVs back in 2011. Back then a lot of companies answered ‘the call to arms’ to get ready for a new market of installing PVs. One Government policy change later (October 2011) and the industry was decimated. The real worry now is that it’s ‘Groundhog Day’ again.

    We have been working closely with Calderdale Council to deliver work to stone hard to treat cavities (HTTC) and attic rooms (room in roof), which are prevalent along the M62 corridor (Yorkshire and Lancashire), using ECO as a means to get private homeowners out of fuel poverty. The proposed changes make no reference to consideration for HTTC which means that a sizeable number of properties (8 million within the UK) will not be eligible for energy efficient measures under ‘new’ ECO. The changes will mean minimal work to solid walls (100,000 commitment for the whole of the UK), nothing for HTTC and a potential ‘swing’ by the funders to target easy to treat cavities and loft insulation. The concerns are multiple;

    • No commitment to treat hard to treat cavities, thus leaving up to 8 million households with no way out of fuel poverty.
    • A very small numbers of solid wall properties committed to in the Autumn Statement, thus leaving high numbers of the worst insulated properties with no resolution to their fuel poverty.
    • Every household in the UK have paid a green levy over the years but a substantial percentage are now going to see no benefit from the levy they have contributed to.
    • ECO rates will potentially reflect the Big 6 ‘desire’ to carry out standard cavity and loft insulation and thus other potential measures do not ‘get done’ such as room in roofs.
    • Room in roofs generate substantial fuel bill savings to properties that are some of the worst insulated in the country.

    We believe that the whole ethos of ECO has now been diluted where properties are being cherry picked to suit ‘the few’ and ignore the major issue of fuel poverty which affects ‘the many’, especially in the North of England.

  13. Mervyn Kirk says:

    Having spoken to decc officials at yesterday’s workshop in Glasgow on the forthcoming consultation document, it is clear that the whole of the cavity wall insulation (cwi) industry’s views have not been taken into account during the drafting process.
    Also, the views expressed by the delegates representing over 120 local authorities during joint meetings with decc senior officials and expressed in my response to the original decc consultation circa 18 months ago concerning a need for proper eco funding for hard-to-treat cavity homes (including homes with structural defects, cavity stone build homes, homes in flood risk areas, etc etc) have been completely ignored.
    Both myself and delegates from the various local authorities are readily available and willing to meet with decc to discuss these matters.

  14. Mervyn Kirk says:

    DECC has announced that it is extending the scheme for Green Deal Cash-back for a further three months until the end of June for households to install some energy efficiency measures but has, ONCE AGAIN, chosen to ignore the 8 MILLION FAMILIES living in cold damp hard-to-treat CAVITY homes (including the circa 1.2 million stone built homes). This makes no sense as these homes can be easily and quickly treated using Technitherm cavity wall insulation, usually in a day, at a fraction of the cost of external wall insulation and also provides structural security (replaces corroded, failed and missing wall-ties) and provides protection to homes at flood risk.

  15. Lyndsey says:

    We are a fledgling company delivering EWI to fuel poor homes throughout the North of England and Rural Wales. A huge personal financial investment was made, along with a time investment as we were assured the funding would run for a minimum of 4 years, only to have the funding pulled within a year.
    Following the government’s decision our funding provider ceased funding and currently we are possibly looking at ceasing trading at the end of March. We have 50+ fuel poor households waiting to proceed with works who we are unable to help as we are currently unable to access any further funding beyond March. The interest in the product was gaining great momentum in deprived areas that we serve and the sad fact is that customers are unable to fund the works directly.
    We currently employ 12 people (8 of which were taken from unemployment) and were gearing up to employ a further 6 people as a minimum in the coming year, working with a local employment and regeneration charity. THESE PLANS WILL NO LONGER GO AHEAD.
    We believe that if the funding levels were maintained at the previous level we could grow and provide secure employment and raise the standards of living in many fuel poor households.
    We can only hope that the government can see the damage they have caused not only to industry and employment, but the health and well being of many hundreds of families living in damp, cold conditions and seeing no way out of this fuel poverty.
    The promised £50 annual saving in fuel bills will never be realised by those living in fuel poverty as they spend ever increasing amounts on fuel trying to eradicate the cold and damp in their homes.
    To add insult to injury, my personal utility company has just passed on the good news that the reduction in green levy has resulted in a £30 annual reduction in my standing charge, £15 for each fuel. So we didn’t even manage to achieve the £50 saving!
    A whole industry decimated, jobs lost, financial losses, time wasted and many, many people still living in cold damp homes in order to achieve a 57 pence per week saving in my bill.
    The shortsightedness of this decision is astounding as all the people who were employed by the industry, paying taxes, now queue up to sign on for Jobseekers Allowance!

  16. Denise Marsdon says:

    ” I have been informed that we no longer have any HHCRO funding with immediate effect.” This is a repeating lament that we are hearing almost on a daily basis from our installer panel. The Government continues to state “.we remain strongly committed to helping vulnerable and elderly consumers to keep their homes warmer and reduce their bills.”

    Well we work extensively with those households considered to be in fuel poverty and frankly I can see no evidence of this. ECO has lined the pockets of the unscrupulous whilst failing to address the needs of those most deserving of a safety net. The people we deal with are completely unable to make a customer contribution other than by securing a “payday loan” type arrangement.

    The fuel poverty elements of ECO need to be delivered in a different way. the drawn out process currently means that many elderly and infirm clients are unable to understand it and .we and our referral agencies are unable to provide a definitive answer as to whether they will get funding and to what level.

  17. Matt Woolley says:

    We own 180 solid walled homes in mid Cheshire. These were all planned to have external wall insulation with significant ECO funding in 2014. However, following the Government announcement in December, we are only able to install EWI on 65 of these properties and we are having to complete these by the end of March 14 otherwise we would lose the funding.

  18. Nev says:

    We have invested over 150k in machinery, tools , training and accreditation.

    Due to funding being pulled overnight, we have lost 60k for installations that we did that suddenly we could not get paid for.

    On top of that, due to HTT cavity wall insulation being cut, our polyurethane foam vans will no longer be required and the random stone properties that we have been insulating will no longer be able to be insulated.

    Polyurethane foam is the only BBA approved product for random stone but due to the rates being more than halved, it is no longer viable.

    14 people now looking for new jobs thanks to political manouvering

  19. Mervyn Kirk says:

    Here is a real life example of the human misery caused by the Government’s proposed changes to ECO funding.

    The residents of a major project in Leeds were expecting external wall insulation work to be carried out to their properties.

    Leeds City Council received a letter dated 3rd February 2014 from the funders advising that the funding for this work has stopped due to the recent changes announced in the Autumn statement.

    One of the properties is occupied by a 92 years old woman who has recently had a hip replacement and the cold weather adversely affects her health. The cancellation of the external wall insulation is a major disappointment and will prolong her recovery and condem her to spending the rest of her days living in a cold damp unhealthy home. To add insult to injury, many properties on the estate have had the work done or are in the process of having the work done. This is both morally unjust and unfair.

    For the third time, I would ask DECC to explain to the millions of families living in cold damp hard-to-treat homes (including the 10s of 1,000s of stone built hard-to-treat cavity homes) who have been ignored over the last 20 years where their money from the Green Levies imposed by the Energy Suppliers on their heating bills over the last 20 years has gone?

  20. steve howe GDA says:

    Its a scandal.GD should be 0% interest otherwise the sharks will move in as they are with 1.15% per month!!
    AW funding should be made available to all on pension credit.FULL STOP Why should old dears freeze to death because of energy companies greed while skilled installers/assessors sign on the dole GRRR

  21. David Rose says:

    As the only effective Fuel Poverty charity delivering HHCRO support to the desperately needy households in Brent (the most Benefit Cut affected borough in the UK) it is more than frustrating to find that our lines of supply for HHCRO have now been cut.

    With what we believe to be tens of thousands of measures squandered and stolen from the target market (the fuel poor) for Affordable Warmth, we demand that DECC takes on board the recommendations of it’s own Fuel Poverty Advisory Group and stregnthen rather than weaken the support to the Fuel Poor. We believe that working closer with health and welfare care professional to ensure that AW measures are delivered to the households with the greatest need, not the kind of numbers lead expediency that has been driven by the Energy Companies mad dash for boilers. The whole tenor of the argument is exemplified by the constant reference by hetaing engineers of the need to get funding for boilers. This is NOT the way forward, as it was inteneded. What we need is a whole home approach where proper co-ordination of Heating, Insulation and draught-proofing is delivered to houshoulds deemed in need by grass roots organisations such as Energy Solutions, who understand the breadth and depth of need reflected by individual casework.

  22. Jane Needham says:

    DECC have listened to the big SIX energy Companies and destroyed both ECO and Green Deal with these proposed changes from April

    When Green deal started it was championed as something for the SMEs. Why do we not get a say in how ECO and Green Deal works when changes are made.

    We are a small company with individual customers we have done our best to get good deals on ECO and Green Deal for, but funding has been pulled from under contractors feet, even sometimes when they have started work on a job. How can this be equitable? We have unhappy customers, who have waited patiently for new boilers, EWI etc for their contract to come to the top of the pile. They are now left high and dry. Many will not be able to afford what they wanted as they are fuel poor or lower income, or are in debt management plans. The sweetener of cashback is simply not enough. Green Deal finance rates are simply too high when the more well off can get extensions to mortgages, or ‘green loans’ from their banks at around 3%.

    Have we seen the £50 back on our bills?? Why not instead just give back the green levy we have been paying for years to the energy companies as a windfall to be used for every property to improve its energy efficiency. They have gained interest on it in their coffers, not spent the money on what it has been collected for(I believe only about 2%).

    The current government has been held to ransom and has acted in haste. It is not them but the small companies who have spent time, money and effort into ECO and Green Deal who repent at leisure until the next election – but remember all those employees and employers who are now struggling will have a vote on your future as a government.

    Just for once, listen to the small companies, and look at how many schemes to reduce fuel poverty have been withdrawn on a large scale . As a government you have said you were there for the small businesses. Prove it. Without further change Green Deal and ECO as proposed from April will be a disaster. LISTEN to those at the sharp end for once.

  23. Phil Beynon says:

    The energy efficiency sector is at deaths door and the rhetoric from Government seems to be little more than the last rites at a funeral.

    All of the good building blocks for a secure green industry providing jobs and growth have been wasted with Government blessing.

    Roll on the elections and ring in the changes.

  24. Andy says:

    Whats happened to HHCRO funding for boilers?
    Small SME companies like myself have put a lot of money, time and effort into becoming set it to install boilers under HHCRO and suddenly it stops, or mostly the funding available is so small only a 5 bedroomed house would get just enough funding for a boiler swop. Leaving the most vulnerable of the fuel poor left out!! Back boilers and people with no heating only electric are the fuel poor!! The carbon savings and price for LTS needs to be scrapped. Direct prices from energy suppliers to target people with Back boilers, and boilers 15+ years old. Come on DECC lets get HHCRO funding back!

  25. Mike Kinghan says:

    This is a complete disaster for those in fuel poverty who live in solid wall homes. There is no way they are going to be able to afford solid wall insulation with the rates of ECO expected after 1st April and the £4k cashback (which only lasts till end June anyway) will also be insufficient. It has been difficult to sell the proposition with the current rates of ECO – this makes the situation much much worse. Our older housing stock is in desperate need of a radical and rapid programme of insulation – these proposals amount to an almost complete abandonment of any serious attempt to tackle this issue. Its shocking.

  26. Alan Jones says:

    The proposed changes to GD and in particular ECO, will result in fewer Measures being Installed which also means job losses throughout the Industry and Less Carbon Saved. Moreover, they will worsen the overall situation of the genuine Fuel Poor.

    Just where are the benefits of these proposals? My view is that there has been too much political wrangling between the Energy Suppliers and the Government to what is a very simple problem.

    The older housing stock across the UK is considered to be cold and damp and is therefore costing too much to heat and is losing / using too much Carbon.

    Solution – Identify the properties and Install the Measures. That’s a simple enough task so why is it being made so complicated? Who benefits from the delays and confusion? It isn’t Industry and it isn’t the people who live in these homes!

    The main arguments regarding cold and damp housing stock (Fuel Poverty) made here so far seem to focus on HTT / Insulation. Most of those points are valid enough but I’ll add this:

    If you couple poor Insulation with a lack of Heat Production (Boiler and Radiators), the situation for the Fuel Poor is decidedly worsened (life threatening).

    Similarly, when an inefficient Heating System is used to warm a poorly Insulated property, it uses far too much fuel (Carbon) and it costs too much on Bills (Fuel Poverty).

    Why is it so difficult for Government to see the simplicity of identifying the worst cases of cold / damp properties (inefficiency) and applying the required Measures to improve those?

    The previous 12 months saw some of the worst flaws with the new GD & ECO systems and I believe changes are required but, those changes are needed most and ought to be focused on Fuel Poverty (saving lives) and job creation (stimulating the economy).

    They do not deserve to be aimed at preserving the profits made by the so called Big 6. The people should come before profits.

    • We are a small business, spent months and thousands setting this up, now we are struggling to get funding. However BG through PH Jones can’t get enough installers to fit boilers under ECO, idiotic policy making

      • Ex installers wife says:

        Yes, PH Jones can’t get enough employers, because they pay they pay their sub contractors ( I don’t believe they actually have ANY permanent full time installers on the books! ) very little money. It’s a hard slog for the installers.

        The first toolbox talk you have with them – you are told not to complain about anything, otherwise, you’re out! and that there are plenty of other installers just waiting to take your place!

        Is this how a British Gas company wants installers treated? – installers who are going into THEIR customers homes?!

        Quite frankly you pay for what you get – my husband put his workmanship before anything else. He did remedial work of other installers, and quite frankly, some of it was shocking.

        Customers were quite shocked when an unmarked and An un-uniformed ( not British gas logo – or ph jones…cause husband wasn’t given ANY uniform! ) turned up at their doorstep.

        Customers apply to British Gas and expect British gas – not some contractor of a contractor – who comes from an employment agency, advertised on the Internet! ( which advertised, makes you believe you’ll be working for British Gas – not some company they’ve bought out, and still uses it’s own name! )

        we know MANY small companies who have gone through all the training processes and invested, to take up these energy efficient government funded schemes…..what we’ve come to learn? UNLESS you are one of the big 6, you don’t stand a hope in hells chance of getting any work….or if you do? It’s bits and pieces, or the more complex, or fiddly jobs, that don’t make as much profit.
        It’s a scandal……and this government is supposed to be helping small businesses? Pfttt….we had a plumbing and heating business up until a few months ago, when we could no longer financially sustain it.

        Someone REALLY needs looking in to this!

  27. Claire says:

    2014 could have been a good year for us as micro SME installers of EWI. We have spent time and money ensuring we are PAS 2030 compliant and marketing ourselves to private householders. From January 1st we have over 50 enquiries but 95% of clients have turned their backs on having the works due to potential upfront costs they have got to find. In addition we have a number of properties that were having a number of measures completed with EWI being last on the list and so these clients are going to miss out on the ECO funding as the measures will not be completed until later this year. I find it hard to talk to clients within our area about having EWI installed on their solid wall buildings. Most clients want EWI installing rather than IWI to reduce the impact on the room sizes internally. They don’t have the type of money required to pay for these works without some help through ECO. Not one of our clients wants to go through Green Deal as they don’t want to be in debt or anymore debt than they already are. I feel at the moment we are losing work because of these pending changes and our business is left in an uncertain times. With all our funding stopped now we are on a waiting game to see what impact these changes will have to the private sector but I don’t see it as a good thing currently.

  28. Nicola says:

    I find this situation utterly exasperating. The changes pushed for by British Gas and co resulted in the disaster of the autumn statement. Now I would like my green levies back with interest as BG and co have earnt on it already. Add my £50 please. They belong into my bank account WITH interest of course.

    DECC continuously give into pressures from SIX companies and are not supporting the aim of reducing fuel poverty or achieving 2030/50 carbon reduction targets.

    The whole house approach is championed by SME s and yet DECC is doing all it can to move back to individual measures.

    The extension of the targets is perfectly reasonable, the uplift for early achievers is a good acknowledgment of the fact that they spent extra.

    Reducing targets by a third is wholly unacceptable!! Introduce a CERo split of CERO HTT, CERO SWI, CERO CWI / LI – 3 way split if the full target. It ll allow for cross funding alongside hard to treat homes being included.

    Accepting CERT OR CESP over delivery is not acceptable. That’s what budgeting and quality control is designed for. The big six have plenty of mgmt staff for that kind of work.

    Right now the big six are attempting to unlink GD from ECO by destroying GD in their favour. DECC need to speak to SME s and NOT the big six. An industry and a government held to ransom by energy suppliers.

    Pathetic really.

  29. Dene Carvell says:

    Up until the recent announcements we had a number of schemes ready to go & had funding through 3 seperate suppliers for delivery of CERO works. And now, NOTHING.
    All suppliers are waiting to decide what happens next & have simply pulled funding due to the uncertainty. ECO, in particular CERO was starting to have an impact on those properties where customers couldnt afford bills & were (& indeed now still are) living in Fuel Poverty.
    The result is i feel a political game between the 2 major parties as an election approaches & nothing to do with giving back consumers £50 & using the green levvies as a reason. I make no excuses for my anger at this approach as i do work with customers where we were lucky enough to complete the EWI works & deliver significant savings on their energy bills.
    Whilst the cost of Green Levvies was constantly used for political points scoring i am yet to see any reports that compared the ACTUAL savings being delivered against the cost.
    If DECC & Govt are not careful things will be significantly worse especially for an industry that has geared up for delivery & have now been effectively dumped.

  30. We are a small community interest company trying to reduce fuel poverty.

    In November 2013, Carillion told us that due to impending changes to ECO and poor Green Deal take-up, they were pulling out of small projects across the UK. This unexpected decision left us ‘completely in the lurch’.

    Further, we have been unable since to find a replacement partner with ECO funding, particularly HHCRO, due to the December announcement on ECO. Everyone we have contacted has said the energy suppliers have withdrawn their lines with one energy supplier advising us that they have no spare ECO funding now until 2015.

    As a result, we now have around 500 vulnerable households on a waiting list for help and we are having to tell them that we are unable to arrange funding until April at the earliest.

    Most of these are in solid wall homes so getting CERO will also now be a problem.

    In short, the impending changes to ECO are a huge setback for vulnerable Londoners and a huge demotivator for community organisations trying to reduce fuel poverty.

  31. Has anyone considered asking SMEs about ECO as the points to be consulted on; although important in their own right; are not what we really need a consultation on?

    Ministers, DECC, ofgem etc. should try reading message boards and actually asking those of us at the coal face how the mismanagement of the scheme has affected the industry and how it could be managed better.

    They need to clean up the funding process, cutting out as many middlemen as possible and stop allowing certain funders from forcing the installer to purchase the products from them.

    The whole scheme is broken, try asking the relevant people for input and don’t allow changes to be made until enough voices from SMEs have been heard over the shouts of the BIG6.

  32. Paul Hinsley says:

    Please could you confirm when the ECO Consultation is due to be published?

    • Vicky Beechey says:

      Hi Paul,
      The DECC team responded to my question about this earlier this week (see below) to say that they are still planning on publishing it this month and it’ll be open for 8 weeks for responses.

  33. James Henderson says:

    We had agreed a scheme with British Gas to install external wall insulation to 280 Wimpey No Fines dwellings with 90% ECO funding being promised. This funding has now been withdrawn

  34. Mervyn Kirk says:

    New ECO proposals will condemn millions to Fuel Poverty, say Campaigners.

    Campaigners are concerned that the proposed changes to ECO funding will condemn millions to Fuel Poverty. The inevitable reduction in ECO funding brought about by the new proposals will not fund the necessary energy saving measures for millions in Hard To Treat Homes.

    The evidence for this has already been seen from the ECO Brokerage Scheme since December last year. Funding levels have plummeted and the installation of insulation measures has fallen dramatically.

    Reduced ECO funding will mean that the 8 million houses in the UK with Hard to Treat Cavities plus the millions with solid walls will go un-insulated, condemning millions of people to fuel poverty for the foreseeable future.

    The vast majority of people living in fuel poverty do so because they live in houses which are designated as Hard to Treat. In fact these houses aren’t hard to treat, they are more expensive to insulate because of the design of their cavity walls, exposure to wind driven rain, at risk of flooding, remedial works required prior to insulating, etc and need adequate levels of ECO funding to ensure the right insulation measures are installed

    Because of the extra costs to insulate hard to treat cavities, these households have been ignored by all the previous grant funded insulation schemes, notably CERT and CESP, which resulted in these fuel poor householders experiencing a triple whammy

    • They have not benefited from levies imposed on their fuel bills over the last circa 20 years
    • They have not been eligible to benefit from reduced energy requirements to heat their own homes
    • Having to pay ever increasing fuel costs to heat their energy inefficient properties.

    Again, we would ask, can DECC explain to the millions of families living in cold damp hard-to-treat homes who have been ignored over the last 20 years where their money from the Green Levies imposed by the Energy Suppliers on their heating bills over the last 20 years has gone?

    Campaigners are urging everyone to write to their MP’S with their concerns about these increasing levels of Fuel Poverty, and are encouraging everyone to participate in the Consultation to ensure that ECO funding is not reduced.

    If implemented, the new ECO proposals will mean that the Government’s carbon reduction targets will go by the board, and millions of people will continue to have high energy bills and live in old, cold and damp houses which are expensive to heat.

  35. Graham Atkinson says:

    I first looked into solid wall insulation 18 months ago I organsied a green deal assessor at a cost of £90 (british gas) I then contacted companies who each sent there own assessor (so £90 wasted) the first quote was for £23000 minus grant of £8000 equals £15000. I could not afford that to expensive so 2nd quote came back £16000 but now can only offer £4000 grant due to government changes and not a green deal providor so no cash back. 3rd quote £15700 plus grant of £3000 and possibly cash back depends on the government. My question is how as a customer could I possible commit to an order when the companies don’t know what is on offer from the government. I am also not on any kind of benefits so would have to meet the cost for my solid wall insulation myself so at £12000 I am unlikely to commit. As for the companies who sent guys around they will not get any work and my house will still be cold SO HOW IS IT EASIER AND INDEED WORKING

  36. Mervyn Kirk says:

    I agree with Stuart Pye, large scale schemes that were on the cusp of being delivered in the worst LSOA are being curtailed because funding levels are insufficient. Proposed ECO funded projects continue to be cancelled around the country as a result of the changes to ECO funding announced by Government in the Autumn Statement in December 2013 and further subsequent announcements including the proposal to award energy companies carbon uplifts on measures completed in Q1.

    Examples include Leeds City Council who has put a £1.2m insulation scheme for 150 homes on hold following changes by the Government to energy efficiency funding which would have cut the amount of funding by almost two thirds making it unaffordable

    A further 1,200 people living in council-owned properties and 700 people in privately-owned properties in Clifton, Nottingham are also affected as British Gas abandon a scheme offering free or subsidised insulation.

    Residents have been severely let down by these government changes which mean that many schemes are no longer financially viable and for families living in cold damp hard-to-treat homes their energy bills and costs to the NHS in relation to cold related illnesses/deaths will still go on rising.

    Can DECC explain to the millions of families living in cold damp hard-to-treat homes who have been ignored over the last 20 years where their money from the Green Levies imposed by the Energy Suppliers on their heating bills over the last 20 years has gone?

    Scrapping the government’s commitment to key hard-to-treat cavity wall insulation measures to bring energy efficiency improvements to homes will cost tens of thousands of jobs.

    What assessment has DECC made of the impact of the proposed changes to ECO funding on, families in fuel poverty, homes in flood risk areas, and on job creation and protection of existing jobs within the Hard To Treat Cavity (HTTC) insulation industry that will prevent insulation works being carried out to the remaining 8 million Hard To Treat Cavity (HTTC) homes across the UK?

    • Green Deal Team says:

      Hi Mervyn:

      An assessment of the impacts of the proposed changes to ECO – including on jobs, fuel poverty and carbon – will be published alongside the ECO consultation.

  37. Stuart Pye says:

    The proposed changes to Green Deal and ECO have far wider implications than would initially appear on the surface and cover a very wide range of issues. Within the scope of this blog I would firstly comment on the issue of Hard To Treat Cavities as this appears to be an initial emerging theme. The proposal to reintroduce CWI as a primary measure has already seen fuel utilities reduce the funding levels per carbon tonne to a level that makes the treatment of Hard To Treat Cavities (HTTC) likely to be limited to the those properties that can be treated with Bead or Fibre that are more expensive because of access, height or limited remedial works needed. I would reiterate Andrew Cooper’s question around are HTTC cavities to be treated the same as standard cavities as this is a fundamental question. There are considerable differences in Hard To Treat Cavities as some are easily treatable at relatively low cost, some at only marginally above the cost of standard cavities and it is these that will be targeted for action initially by installers and fuel utilities as the lowest cost option which as commercial organisations is the most effective business proposition. I would concur with Calderdale that as a result of previous funding streams, including Minor Works grants for thermal works that do not tend to be recorded or appear on HEED etc, that there is not the scope for fibre and bead particularly in the 15% or proposed 25% LSOA areas. Substantially the property types in this region that remain in the LSOA areas, that I am sure will be reflected within other regions nationally, are the ones that are HTTC because there are no remedial DPC’s, they are stone built or mixed construction, sub 40mm brick cavities, lie in flood risk areas, the house wall is constructed with through stones ties etc etc. In other words cannot be treated with bead or fibre. The market is going to be opened up to ECO paying for cavity wall and loft insulation in areas where residents can more than afford to pay for the measures and residents living in fuel poverty cannot be tackled because the funding levels have been reduced to a point where the true more expensive HTTC products cannot viably be installed. This market was just starting to be developed and the infrastructure put in place by the manufacturers and installers. Unless there is consideration of how these more expensive to treat measures are dealt with within the ECO funding framework there will be the same impact upon this market that happened to fibre and bead at the end of CERT and CESP. Equally several large scale schemes that were on the cusp of being delivered in the worst LSOA are likely to be curtailed because funding levels are insufficient. Once such scheme to nearly 4,000 homes in this borough is under threat. The cavities in these particular stone built homes were of nominal 80mm width and when insulated with technitherm CWI, which has circa 30% better thermal performance than standard fibre and bead measures, lifted these properties from being cold expensive to heat homes to equivalent to well insulated new build homes at a fraction of the cost of external wall insulation. The life time expectancy of the measure is likely to far exceed the nominal life of the measure defined under ECO, in practical terms these more expensive solutions do have longer term benefits and can compete cost effectively longer term. The shift in the funding will again see the emphasis being moved towards CWI works that can be cherry picked by installers to find properties that can be delivered at the lowest cost, as evidenced by the feeding frenzy on HHCRO funded boiler replacements. In future it is most likely that the more expensive HTTC will only be viable where the cost can be supported eg through Social Providers where this is not necessarily being used to tackle homes in the worst LSOA areas, or alternatively by lower cost measures supporting the cost of more expensive measures. Equally I do not think the impact on Green Deal of the reintroduction of CWI as a primary measure has been thoroughly identified. It may enable the fuel utilities to achieve their obligations through lower cost measures but will impact considerably on the viability of Green Deal. Payback on most Green Deal plans identifies CWI and Loft insulation as the most viable options which then, over the term of the plan, can in turn make other measures viable in the overall package. By taking CWI and potentially loft insulation out of the Green Deal package will in turn mean that house owners will not engage with GD as a process as the remaining measures do not all necessarily fit within the “Golden Rule”.

  38. frances says:

    Can anyone tell me if it is worth signing up 1000s of measures, paying the canvassers 1000s of pounds when there is so much uncertainty on what ECO will morph into in April. so far I think it safe to say we don’t know what will qualify, how much we will get paid, if our contracts will be revoked

  39. Richard Armitage says:

    ‘Calderdale Council is disappointed with the proposed change to reduce subsidy available through the Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation. This takes the whole industry for solid wall insulation and hard to treat cavity wall insulation for uneven stone cavities back 4 years and offers nothing for our local householders who continue to be discriminated against because of their property type.

    Whilst a proposed increase in the CSCO areas was of initial interest, it is unlikely to have much impact in Calderdale. The majority of properties suitable for loft and cavity wall fibre have already had this work done through EEC, CERT and CESP. This will leave high levels of fuel poverty in thousands of stone built terraced homes, many of which have stone tied cavities and un-insulated attic bedrooms. These properties could easily be insulated with cavity wall foam and attic room dry lining, but we need a long term commitment from government and ECO subsidy from the energy companies in order to start making energy improvements to these areas. All we have so far is another 6 to 8 months of uncertainty, to be followed by reduced ECO subsidy levels and a flawed Green Deal finance package which will do nothing for fuel poverty and very little for reducing residential carbon emissions in our borough’.

  40. Chris says:

    A stamp duty rebate worth at least £1,000 from Government to spend on important energy-saving measures – will this be applied retrospectively as there are many people moving now with the market lifting again, will they be able to benefit?

  41. Mervyn Kirk says:

    Millions of hard-to-treat-homes with cavity wall construction including stone built houses have been mistakenly identified as “solid wall” housing.

    In circa 2012 the Association for the Conservation of Energy (ACE ) estimated there were 10 Million or 40% of UK homes were hard to treat and the National Insulation Association (NIA) together with the Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency (CIGA) had identified that of these there were around 8m HTT cavity walls capable of being filled consisting of:

     4m partial fill, steel/timber framed, (Non-Traditional) system built
     4m hard to treat – narrow brick cavities, uneven stone cavities, etc.

    At the NIA meeting on the 5th December 2013 on the day of the Autumn Statement DECC officials stated that there were 700,000 easy-to treat cavity wall homes and 3.2 million hard-to-treat cavity wall homes requiring insulation measures.

    Can DECC’s tell us what has happened to the missing 4.8m HTT cavity homes?

    Also, as ACE estimated that there are a total of 10m HTT homes can DECC tell us what is the total number of solid wall homes requiring external wall insulation measures?

    From these figures it would appear that there are less than 2m solid walled properties remaining and the real focus should be on insulating hard-to-treat cavities.

  42. Paul Schofield says:

    What happens to people who have had their green deal survey, and accepted a quote for solid wall insulation which includes an ECO grant? This is my position.
    We are now into the winter period where render etc is difficult to complete before the end of March (because of the potential for frost and the need to be able to offer a long guarantee on the work). But my installer is being told that to get the current level of ECO grant the complete job has to be completed before mid March. He has also been told that the new ECO grant levels to apply after the end of March may not be announced until April.
    Is there any way round this? My understanding is that the insulation panels can be fitted in cold weather – its just the application of the render which needs a prolonged period with no possible frost.

  43. Dan Hunt says:

    The blog states that the changes to ECO are ‘to be consulted on’ … when will this consultation take place?

    Thanks.

    • Steve Ivie (DECC) says:

      Hi Dan, the consultation is likely to be in February – exact dates to be confirmed in the new year.

      Further information is available here https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/267705/ECO_Consultation_additional_detail_Slides.pdf

      • Dan Hunt says:

        Thanks!

      • Dan Roberts says:

        Steve & Siobhan,
        Are we any closer to getting the dates back for the end of the consultation period and the results being published?
        The link to the document says Feb 2014, which we are now in, so can you help on this?
        thanks,

        • Vicky Beechey says:

          My understanding is that the ECO consultation is still due to be released? Can DECC please confirm if/when the consultation is due out?

        • Green Deal Team says:

          We still plan to publish the ECO consultation ( in relation to the 2 December announcement), this month, with the consultation period running for eight weeks.

          The current timetable envisages the laying of secondary legislation in both Houses of Parliament with legislation coming into force during October 2014, subject to Parliamentary assent, but with many provisions having “retrospective” effect as from 1 April 2014.

          On 3 February we published the government’s response to the consultation of 24 July 2013 on ECO amendments. These are essentially technical changes and are, subject to Parliamentary approval, expected to come into effect by April 2014.

  44. Barry Taplin says:

    Sorry if I missed it …. but do we have a rough date on when you expect the changes to the Green Deal to be made public as I have now stopped processing Green Deal Reports until the future is clearer. Thanks.

    • Green Deal Team says:

      Hi Barry,

      We’ve already announced a series of improvements we’re making to the Green Deal, making it easy both for consumers and the supply chain. You can find these on https://www.gov.uk/government/news/streamlining-and-improving-the-green-deal. These changes should not impede your work, but rather make things simpler for both you and your customers.

    • Phil Hall says:

      As a green deal advisor I agree with Barry about ceasing to carry out GDAR I thought I was meant to be giving independent impartial advice but when you register with most GDAO’s they don’t want you to carry out your own reports, and then we have to fill in all the mindless meaningless moronic forms to tick a box on the audit trail, frankly I am fed up being treated like an imbecile!

  45. Lucy Campbell says:

    Help required !
    Tenant with 2 children aged 3 and under ( youngest is 7 months and just been diagnosed as disabled )who started ECO process back in September. Early November funding approved as low income but installer keeps failing to install new boiler despite it being in stock. Latest promise is after Christmas – current boiler broke end Oct and replacement parts unavailable.
    No heating or hot water – disgraceful treatment by so called approved contractor – who can I turn to for help ??

    • Green Deal Team says:

      HI Lucy,

      The ECO market is not regulated in the same way as others.

      If you are unhappy with the quality of the service you have received, in the first instance you should try to sort this out with the company in question.

      If this does not resolve the issue, you can call Citizens Advice on 08454 04 05 06 and they can help you to make a complaint to Trading Standards and provide advice on your consumer rights.

  46. Vicky B says:

    It’s mentioned in the blog that the proposed changes to ECO are to be consulted on – when is that consultation likely to be taking place? And in addition to the proposed changes from the Autumn Statement, what else will covered?

  47. Hi Siobhan,
    In terms of understanding the overall progress of registered measures to the target, is there somewhere these are published regularly.

    I assume that the 100,000 SWI’s is from the beginning of ECO, what is the progress so far towards completing that target ?

  48. Laurence Hil says:

    I have been trying to get a quote/finance plan for solid wall insulation on my house since April 17 this year – but each time I contact the different providers they all say that the software isn’t quite ready! I just can’t quite understand what is going on, I’m keen to go ahead bout have been frustrated at every turn. Please help!

  49. Andrew Cooper says:

    I’m told that hard to treat cavity insultion is to attract the same funding as standard cavity insulation from April. Is this the case? This was how your presentation to NIA conference was interpreted. Is it correct?

    • Green Deal team says:

      Hi Andrew,

      The new Govt proposals would mean that standard cavity wall insulation (CWI) and hard-to-treat CWI would both be eligible as primary measures under the ECO carbon saving obligation, alongside loft insulation, connections to district heating schemes, and solid wall insulation (SWI). While each of the measures would be eligible in their own right, the level of funding available for each measures will be determined by the market.

  50. Vincent Brissenden says:

    What does this mean for for failed cavities? Do failed cavities come under hard to treat?

  51. Norman Meyer says:

    I also wondered if a house is going to be 100mm plus or 4 inches plus wider because of the width of the panels they attach to the walls and the render that they may put on top, what do they do about stopping the rain going down between the old walls and the new one, or do they make the roof deeper to extend over the newer walls, and hang the guttering on that? I hope we’re not going to start seeing a lot of damp walls as nobody looked at where the rain goes when it comes down?

  52. Norman Meyer says:

    I’m a pensioner who’s been in the same rented house since 2005. The landlord says he can’t allow me to take up a green deal, as when I pop my clogs, (his words), will someone else be eager to pay the extra? Not likely! Especially if there’s only been 219 so far, (well whenever whoever it was talking to Mr Paxman is it? That eventually let the magic number slip? The man on BBC2 Newsnight? Well my energy supplier doesn’t seem eager to help under the ECO, so with the landlords help I’ve started putting Noma Therm insulation on the inside of the living room outside walls, which I’ll then cover with lining paper & wallpaper. But when a new boiler & radiators were fitted in an earlier scheme, they fitted the lounge radiator right to the wall, under the 3 inch window sill, now the landlord has helped move it out so the heat goes into the room, n ot out the window! The 2 bits of wood were a simple idea, and now I can keep warmer – but there’s also the loft insulation and the drafts to sort out. Still the nice man who came round the other night with an infra-red thermal camera was able to show me and the BBC crew just where all the heat was going…

  53. Siobhan Stanger says:

    All:
    Thanks for taking the time to feed back. I’ll try to respond to your comments and questions below:

    Solid Wall Insulation

    Barrie, Tom, Steve and Mike had concerns around external / solid wall insulation. Treating solid wall properties remains a key focus for ECO – this is where much of the remaining potential for improving the energy efficiency of our housing stock lies. It is for this reason we are proposing a new solid wall minimum under ECO set at 100,000 measures to be delivered by 2017 across all obligated energy companies and all elements of ECO. This will guarantee that a substantial number of solid wall properties will be treated under ECO. And we have immediately incentivised the delivery of hard to treat cavity and solid wall insulation by quadrupling the money available to English local authorities. Under our Green Deal Communities competition, £80m is now available to promote Green Deal on a street by street basis, helping the local supply chain and local communities improve their energy efficiency.

    Certainty and support to the industry

    Patrick, we absolutely agree that industries need certainty. This package helps with industry certainty in the short term as well as providing better long term stability. As well the continuing ECO targets, the £540 million in new investment in energy efficiency for homes and public sector buildings over the next three years will mean work and jobs for the energy efficiency industry. The increased funding available through Green Deal Communities described above will help here, and we’re keeping the Green Deal cashback scheme open – protecting jobs in the industry before the new measures take effect.

    Mr Renewables, we do recognise that SMEs face challenges in creating an end to end offer for customers (from assessment to finance to installation) and we are working to ensure new entrants to the consumer finance market have improved support. And we are looking to give Green Deal professionals more choice in how they make installations enabling them to be more innovative, creative and offer more options to consumers. Some of these changes have already been implemented and more will be rolled out over the coming months.

    Supporting the vulnerable and elderly in Park Homes

    Ann, we remain strongly committed helping vulnerable and elderly consumers to keep their homes warmer and reduce their bills. Current schemes include the Winter Fuel Payment – worth up to £300; Cold Weather Payments which provide £25 for every week of a cold spell (last year 5.8 million payments were made) and the Warm Home Discount which takes £135 off the bills for two million households.

    Park homes are eligible for support under the Energy Company Obligation (ECO). Like other energy efficiency measures delivered under ECO, while there is no entitlement to help for any particular property, where help is provided comes about as a result of funding paid by obligated energy suppliers to enable them to score installations of energy efficiency measures against their ECO targets, subject to the rules of the scheme.

    A simpler Green Deal

    Rhona and Peter – thanks for sharing your experiences . In these early days of the Green Deal we have listened , and are acting, on the feedback that the Green Deal needs to be simpler for both consumers and industry. This is why we have announced several changes to the Green Deal. The changes are designed to make the Green Deal more straightforward and less time-consuming for families who want to improve their homes and benefit from lower bills in future. For more information visit our streamlining and improving the Green Deal page
    You can find our current statistics on the Green Deal and ECO statistics page

    Retrospective rebates

    Michael, congratulations on your new –old- home. While the rebate is not yet open there is other support you can consider. The existing cashback scheme remains open, and depending on where you live, there may be funding available from your Local Authority under the Green Deal Communities programme. DECC is also considering providing further support for consumers wishing to invest in energy efficiency measures.

    More detail on the incentives and new measures

    Henry and Peter – we will make further detailed announcements about of the specifics of the incentives in the coming months- so keep an eye out!

    • stephen dormer says:

      Could you provide any info on the extended cashback scheme – e.g. how much will be the contribution per measure in particular EWI?

  54. Louise Cater says:

    We paid for the green deal assessor, and was gobsmacked that he said there was little could be done to help us. We live in an ‘off gas’ area, and rely heavily on fossil fuels to heat our home. we would have loved to have been offered help towards an electric boiler and/or solar panels. but no, the govt. as usual does these things in half measures. just creates good headlines but nothing practical. useless!!

  55. Alan AJ Jones says:

    Rural areas off gas are stil being discriminated against re HHCRO boiler replacements. Park Homes too! Plus why allow carry-over of meeting targets re Cesp etc when many are acts of fiction! Government run scared of fuel companies, the tail wags the dog..grrrr
    31,000 excess winter deaths an increase of 7000 the equivalent of loosing a small town each year. Does energy policy work, well not for those that died of cold at least. But hey, what do I know.

  56. Jim Bisset says:

    40% reduction can now be achieved so easily but no one wants to listens
    Will just keep plugging away.
    Merry Christmas to every one.

  57. Tom O'Clee says:

    At the beginning of this year CESP & CERT were disbanded and so were thousands of fairly low skilled jobs in loft and cavity wall insulation. The Government encouraged thousands of small businesses to make massive investment in solid wall insulation. CERO solid wall insulation has not just been water down by 2/3 it has been dropped… why would you do expensive solid wall insulation if you can hit your target with cheaper loft and cavity wall insulation? …. Does the Government expect that those poor loft and cavity wall insulation installers that were sacked because of their policy 12 months ago have just been hanging around on the dole waiting for this so that they can come back to work? What about the over extended builders who have wasted their time and money chasing another dead end… there will be a lot of bankruptcies as a result of this move.

    And why are we here? Lib Dems objected to Tory free schools policy. In retaliation Cameron announced a review of green levies to everyone’s surprise (including his coalition partners). Egged on by Miliband’s populist (and completely unworkable) energy price freeze policy, Cameron drops the axe…… in the wrong place. Playing politics destroys lives, and while I hate people who say that politicians are all the same…. they are all the same, useless.

  58. Sue Roberts says:

    Green Deal loan should be at 0%, same as Salix public sector funding.

    Green Deal Assessments should be provided free. Just imagine: 26 million homes knowing what steps they should take for energy efficiency.

  59. Sue Roberts says:

    The Green Deal loan should be at 0%, same as the SALIX public sector loans.

    Green Deal Assessments should be provided free. Just imagine, 26 million homes knowing what they need to do!

  60. Luke Smith says:

    There is no transition to a low carbon economy its business as usual. I think the conservatives are self serving and in bed with the large corporations, rather than serving the people and future generations.

  61. ann barradine says:

    What about park homes, they are the most vulnerable and elderly, their homes have little if any insulation, yet they are the people the Government is making getting financial assistance the most difficult.

  62. Henry Dougherty says:

    Do you know when the stamp duty rebate to spend on important energy-saving measures come into effect please – and a link for applying?

  63. Tom O'Clee says:

    By including loft and standard cavities in cero you have destroyed 18 months of planning on solid wall projects effecting 2,500 homes. When are you going to address Britain’s 6.6 million solid wall homes? What is the details on fraud because I have countless examples of double claims, claims for work that didn’t need to be done and claims for work that wasn’t done. Overall I think these changes are disasterous. Political expediency over rational thought. Lib dems have lost my vote.

  64. ian wildy says:

    All very well but how will you ensure that Green Deal Assessors get paid a sufficient fee to cover the amount of time, effort and responsibility in producing an EPC, a GDAR and an ECO assessment. (All required by the Green Deal Provider!)
    To be worthwhile Assessors need to get at least £250 in their hand per case, not the measly £75 now on offer by Green Deal Providers

  65. Peter Watt says:

    The announcements made this week are very encouraging. My company is interested to hear what additions are going to be made to the list of qualifying measures, particularly with regard to residential lighting.

  66. Michael says:

    Welcome changes, This is what Green Deal Needs.

  67. Ian Stewart says:

    Breathtaking spin here. Malcolm Tucker would be proud of you. £12million spent on Green Deal with a tiny percentage actually signing up. Progress to date is “encouraging”?…
    Goodbye ECO 2, a slot replaced by ECO 1.5. Twice as long, no extra money = half the spend per year.
    “Carbon Neutral” only if unspecified new schemes actually perform and topped up with possible “savings in transportation”.
    “Greenest Government Ever”? Think not on this record. Weak, vacillating and incapable of coherent or consistent policies.
    Result:
    Utilities 1.
    HWF (Hard Working Families) 0.

  68. Andy Green says:

    Any improvement to this great idea/poorly executed is most welcome. However it is the percentage and terms of the loan that is the biggest barrier to success.

  69. CHRIS says:

    The above info is interesting, but I would also like to know what’s happening about the domestic RHI.

  70. Rhona Anderson says:

    My experience of the Green Deal has been one of frustration and stress for various reasons. I have a good awareness of this programme yet I have found it extremely difficult to find my way around the current system. I have eventually, after months of stress have settled for the cashback scheme rather than using the Green Deal despite being interested in other energy measures such as solar PV. I wonder if you could/should publish statistics for those who have had more grit and determination than myself and have signed up to the Green Deal? The scheme is flawed and I would certainly not recommend to others.

  71. Tom Fletcher says:

    Time will tell whether the carbon neutral result of the Review is correct. However reducing and extending ECO with its relative elements could mean a flippant approach, rather than an urgent approach to energy efficiency, can be adopted by the energy companies.

    The suggested £50+ energy bill savings, by reviewing and cutting ECO costs etc.., are a political gesture rather than an effective solution.

  72. Biggest hurdle is actually getting the green deal finance for customers available in the first place. Not much chance of that for Small businesses even though lots have spent thousands of pounds on training and pas2030 etc The interest rate is also way to high customers can borrow the money cheaper. Can’t see this simplifying anything at all just a rehash of the same thing

  73. When will the government give substantial grants and remove vat to encourage replacement of old boilers and installation of solar thermal for domestic properties. These save energy but take too long to recover the capital cost, and are made unattractive by the tax regime. The Green deal is a bureaucratic nightmare only for those on benefits even if you are retired.

  74. solid wall insulation. Have been on your list forever. is it really going to happen or will there be another delay. last excuse/reason was lack of contractors to do insulation of walls

  75. Lee Cattermole says:

    The pretext 100k Green Deal Assessments completed is a media gimmick given they have been made mandatory to enable claims for funding outside of Green Deal.

    In reality GDA’s are proving to be a burden and not fit for purpose within ECO and a potential cause for concern within RHI.

  76. Charmian Larke says:

    to claim that these changes improve things is being disingenuous. Reducing the CERO by 33% is giving in to the Big 6. They have no incentive to reduce their customers’ spending on energy as this reduces their profits.
    Please start standing up to them and re-instate this important target at the original level or better.
    it is vital for the Trilemma to increase our energy efficiency actions rapidly and dramatically

  77. Mike Dinmore says:

    Very disappointed in your response to EWI take up problems. The Golden Rule does not work for mains gas properties and so you encourage the big 6 to cut their ECO funding for this and allow easy cavities to count!
    Either ECO or GDFinance need a big uplift to allow EWI to be more widely available.

  78. As a Green Deal Assessor and Installer we have already spent £20k on gaining certification. The GDFC wants another £10k to put us on the the GD finance register, that’s not good value for us or the customer. The broker arrangements for GDF give no security to the installer, the major players don’t want to know about SMEs in the market.

  79. Certainty to industry is what is needed at the moment, with a clear government strategy. Utilising organisations like the South West Energy Centre in delivering Green Deal and Eco to manage pots of funding at a local level working closely with councils, communities and charities is the way forward to a successful project.

  80. James Semple says:

    The main problem with the Green Deal is the cost of the finance. Nothing seen here addresses this.

    The ECO bureaucracy is already almost impossible and very few contractors can afford to deal with it. Increasing fraud protection can only make this worse.

  81. Steve Kennedy says:

    Question: A solid wall house requires External Wall Insulation at a cost of £10,000. How do these changes effect the financing of the Green Deal measure? The measure does not meet the Golden Rule and the house owner does not have spare money to make up the difference. This will be the scenario in the vast majority of such cases. Will the recent changes mean that measures such as EWI become more accessible or will it remain only affordable to the well off?

  82. steve amos says:

    How will this effect the Cashback scheme?
    Will the Cashback scheme continue beyodn March 2014?

  83. michael says:

    That’s nice to know. We were initially interested in the Green Deal to find out what sort of savings we could make on insulating our new – old – home (a solid walled house). We only bought the place last year and had to hand over £10,000 in stamp duty. Any chance you can get us a retrospective rebate for external insulation? Thought not.

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