Green Deal slow beginnings?

Oh dear! The green deal hasn’t got off to a very auspicious start…

As reported in the Telegraph today since it was launched nearly a year ago just 12 homes have taken advantage of the Green Deal with a few hundred more in the pipeline.

71,210 households had been assessed for Green Deal measures such as solar panels and insulation at the end of August … But only 677 households have gone to the next stage and said they would like to proceed with the scheme. Of these, 12 houses have had measures installed, while 293 properties had quotes accepted on work and 372 properties had installations “pending”.

It was always easy to predict that it may well have been so.

Green Deal Launch

The Green deal launched in the UK on Monday of this week. Fanfares? fireworks? a deluge of marketing? … read more …

The Green deal launched in the UK on Monday of this week.

Fanfares? fireworks? a deluge of marketing? … Not as far as I saw, instead a more ‘low key’ launch.

Apparently, environment minister Greg Baker wasn’t even in the country, instead he’s been off on a jolly in Tanzania. Only British Gas and the Mark Group are ready to provide solutions and no finance is available under the scheme until January 28th 2013. But it’s OK, surveys can be booked now!

So the softest of soft launches, but it’s alright, it’s not like this is about anything important….

The Green Deal – summary of Greg Barker speech at Ecobuild

Climate Change Minister Greg Barker had plenty to say about the Green Deal in his speech at the Ecobuild conference in London yesterday.

Climate Change Minister Greg Barker had plenty to say about the Green Deal in his speech at the Ecobuild conference in London yesterday. The full text of the speech is available on the The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) website.

My summary is:

  • Confirmation that the Deal will be launched this autumn.
  • Not only aimed at ‘a whole range of home improvements beyond insulation’

    The Green Deal will act as a catalyst to stimulate innovation so that more and more energy savings products come to the market.

  • Interesting statistics:

    The UK building stock was responsible for 43% of total UK emissions in 2009.
    We estimate that this year up to 4.1m households will be in fuel poverty in England alone.

  • The Green Deal varies from previous schemes in the breadth of the measures that should be eligible for it:

    The Green Deal has been designed to finance the installation of a broad range of measures across the energy efficiency market. Our goal is to enable the property to benefit from all the improvements that can create savings.

    The heating, glazing, lighting and Microgeneration industries will all be able to use this innovative financing mechanism.

    Less we-known measures which improve energy efficiency, such as flue gas heat recovery and waste water recovery systems will also be eligible for finance under the Green Deal.

    The key is for measures to be self-financing – able pay for themselves over their lifetime. However, even partially self-financing measures can still be part-financed under the scheme as part of a package of improvements.

  • The Renewable Heat Incentive and the Green Deal will operate side-by-side. Some technologies covered by the RHI will be eligible under the Green Deal as well. Work will be undertaken to further integrate the two schemes and how they are marketed.
  • A new Green Deal advice service goes live on 2nd April
  • Some of the hurdles to entry for providers have been removed or diluted. The requirements for Green Deal providers to have a surety bond in place prior to authorisation, for them to provide an independent conciliation service and to hold warranties for the length of the plan have been removed. Instead of the independent conciliation service “we are procuring a bespoke Green Deal Ombudsman to deal with any Green Deal complaints” – whatever that means!
  • The British Standards Institution recently published a new set of standards for Green Deal installers. Companies wishing to install measures under the Green Deal must be certified to this new standard.
  • There’s also mention of the Big Society (cringe!). With a expectation of collaborations within communities delivering change.

No mention of delays in launching the Green Deal, although DECC officials have recently been speaking of a phased launch or a slow start to the scheme.

The Green Deal next steps delayed

Looks like recent negative speculation over the Green Deal may be well-founded. We now learn that Climate Change Minister Greg Barker has confirmed that the secondary legislation for the Green Deal will be delayed.

The secondary legislation (the instrument through which the government is able to make changes to the law without having to pass a new Act of Parliament) was originally due in “early 2012” now it should be expected by the “summer recess” at the end of July – just two months before the 1st of October launch date of the Green Deal.

No explanation for the delay has been forthcoming.

Let’s hope that there is a chance that the Green Deal can still provide a cost effective, attractive solution to financing the environment enhancements that our housing stock is in need of. It looks like the politicians and big business are taking a bumpy route to getting there.

The Green Deal – stretching at the seams?

It looks like the politicians and energy companies are starting to pull at the seams of the Green Deal. The energy companies have delayed implementation of the funding framework that will underpin the Green Deal with its core concept of funding environmentally beneficial home improvements through energy bills. The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) are remaining silent in the face of calls to make correspondence about this issue a matter of public record – in response to Shadow Climate Change Minister Luciana Berger’s request Energy Minister Gregory Barker, commented that “we believe that release of this information would prejudice commercial interests“. It is thought that the energy companies are reticent about the scheme in its current form as they have to make extensive changes to their billing systems to handle Green Deal payments AND shoulder most of the risk of non-payment.

There are fears that improvements made through the Green Deal will end up costing homeowners more than equivalent improvements made without the Deal. This is due to the fees payable through the Deal and the commercial rates of interest charged on the loans upon which the Deal is built. Green Deal improvements will be paid for by loans that will then be paid off through energy bills.

Energy Minister Gregory Barker has rebuffed opponents, stating via Twitter that “…Energy Co’s obliged to start collecting #GreenDeal payments from Oct. Its the law!

Oh and in an update to yesterdays post, the planned launch date is the 1st of October 2012.