The Green Deal – update March 2012

With the Green Deal, due to be launched later this year, I thought that an update was in order since I last mentioned it back in March 2011.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) describe the Green Deal as follows:

The Energy Act 2011 includes provisions for the new ‘Green Deal’, which intends to reduce carbon emissions cost effectively by revolutionising the energy efficiency of British properties.

The new innovative Green Deal financial mechanism eliminates the need to pay upfront for energy efficiency measures and instead provides reassurances that the cost of the measures should be covered by savings on the electricity bill.

A new Energy Company Obligation will integrate with the Green Deal, allowing supplier subsidy and Green Deal Finance to come together into one seamless offer to the consumer.

(From the Department for Energy and Climate Change website – link earlier)

Dates are still a little vague being variously stated as autumn, October or late 2012.

An central concept to the Green Deal is that of a Green Deal Measure :

A Green Deal Measure is an “improvement” made to a property which has been financed through the Green Deal. This can include part-financing, where a customer has chosen to pay for some of the work themselves. However, there will be no standard Green Deal Measure or list of measures that are appropriate for every property. What is appropriate for a property depends on a number of factors including the work already done, the characteristics of the building and in some cases, the geographical location.

More detail can be found in the DECC document What measures does the Green Deal cover?

In other news…

I think it’s fair to say that George Monbiot in the Guardian is not a fan of the scheme

The green deal is a useless, middle-class subsidy. This deal is in no way green – it’s just one of the means by which money is being taken from the poor and given to the rich

Funding is becoming available, for example, The DECC has stumped up £3m and CITB-ConstructionSkills will provide a further £500,000 towards the training of insulation installers.

There are great aspirations for the number of jobs the Green Deal is likely to create; in March 2011 the Government announced its intention to fund up to 1,000 Green Deal apprenticeships. Longer term, the scheme will support an estimated 65,000 jobs by 2015.

In early March, it was announced that the Green Investment Bank, a new institution tasked with financing investments related to environmental preservation and improvement, would be based in London and Edinburgh. The Bank will play a key part in funding the Green Deal and other environmental initiatives.

One to watch – the Renewable Heat Incentive

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), is a UK government scheme to encourage the installation of low-carbon heating systems. The first phase, the details of which have just been published is aimed at large-scale installations. A domestic version of the scheme will be launched in 2012 as a part of the governments Green Deal. Between now and the launch of the Green Deal, the Renewable Heat Premium Payments scheme will provide grants toward the installation of domestic systems – details of these will be published in May.

RHI eligible technologies are biomass boilers, ground-source heat pumps, solar thermal collectors, and biomethane. System owners will recieve a set payment for each kilowatt hour of heat generated. Heat generation for large-scale installations will be metered and payments made accordingly. It is expected that the domestic version of the scheme will make payments based on expected, rather than metered generation.

The Green Deal is a yet-to-be defined scheme of loans to home-owners that is likely to be introduced by the government under the Energy Security and Green Economy Bill. These loans will be made for the purpose of making homes more energy efficient. A goal of the Department for Energy and Climate Change is to ensure that loans cost no more than the fuel bill savings gained from the work done. It is currently expected that loans will be capped at £6000. It is currently expected that the Green Deal will come into effect from Autumn 2012.

One to watch for the future…