This week we invited the Eco Experts to write an article about the Green Deal.
The first Green Deal support sessions have started in Birmingham for those interested in becoming accredited installers.
The initiative has been called ‘a new market framework’ by Minister for Energy and Climate Change Greg Barker, because instead of being subsidised by government the Green Deal is designed for the market. It is businesses that will promote and provide Green Deal services, and although big companies such as Carillion and Sainsbury’s will be Green Deal Providers, the government’s plan is for SME’s and local installers across the UK to benefit too. Birmingham will be the first city in the UK to launch the government’s flagship retrofit initiative known as the Green Deal, predicted to be worth £14 billion nationwide.
Research by renewables company The Eco Experts indicates although a lot of marketing is required the UK is ready for a major retrofit initiative. Of those asked, 77% had not heard of the Green Deal, but 62% would upgrade their homes if there was no upfront cost. The Green Deal, remember, offers up to £10,000 of home improvements at no upfront cost, to be paid back over 20 years in small instalments attached to the energy bill, not to the bill payer. If you move house you leave the repayment plan behind, as well as the increased comfort and reduced bills the Green Deal brought about.
92% of people are worried about the rising cost of energy in the UK. This is what potentially makes the Green Deal huge. People don’t like the way their bills are looking, they are prepared to do something about it, and now they have the opportunity to do so. It is conceivable that councils will push the Green Deal and so will the big companies who sign up to be Green Deal Providers. Raising awareness across the country could stimulate real demand and real bankable business for installers.
One of the factors making the Green Deal a tricky piece of legislation is training. One of the priorities has been to ensure installer excellence. To give customers confidence in the Green Deal the accreditation has to be regulated, and standards for technical competency need to be in place. In this case the standard to attain is PAS 2030. There has been a long delay while training institutions have waited for instruction from the government but training requirements have now been – finally – finalised.
Greenworks will be hosting training courses and business support sessions at their training academy in Birmingham throughout September. The Greenworks training courses will be among the first in the UK and will be in high demand from those wanting to be among the first wave of Green Deal installers. Their courses cover:
– PAS 2030 – which specifies how to install, manage and provide energy efficiency measures, and how to deliver customer service before, during and after the work being completed.
– QMS – Quality Management Systems, from application through assessments and surveillance audits to maintaining a Green Deal installer certificate.
– How the Green Deal integrates with CPS (Competent Persons Scheme) and MCS (Microgeneration Certifiate Schemes).
A Birmingham debut
London will not be the first city to benefit from the Green Deal. Dave Allport, the Project Manager of Birmingham Energy Savers, the city’s Green Deal program, explains he is, “trying to get Birmingham to be centre of a supply chain that creates jobs for people in Birmingham.”
The Green Deal will be launched in October 2012 and gradually increase in scale over the coming years. It’s hoped that £14 bn of retrofit work will be carried out during the course of its lifetime. Greg Barker is calling it “the biggest housing retrofit scheme since the Second World War”.