The Green Deal – On your marks! Get Ready!

Today DECC published information on the detail of the Green Deal. Much of it is not new, but it is useful to see all the information published in one place, and the Energy Bill will set the process in motion.

The key elements are:

-The expected savings from the Green Deal measures must be greater than the costs. This was set to be 25 years, but now, sensibly the guidance says that the measures can be based on savings over the lifetime of the measure. i.e. solid wall insulation will pay for itself in its lifetime, provided that the lifetime is allowed to be the actual lifetime of the insulation.

-The measures must be approved before being carried out, and will be based on a predetermined set of criteria to be drawn up by DECC. Lets hope this is not too prescriptive and allows the market to innovate. Worryingly, the guidance says that the consumer is responsible for obtaining the relevant consents, which will never work, this type of work will need to be dealt with as permissible development or it will stall immediately. Even if it didn’t stall, Local Authority departments would collapse under the weight of applications for planning or building control.

-The measures must be specific to the property and recommended by an accredited and objective adviser. A review of the current EPC is planned to support this.

-The measures must be installed by an accredited installer

-The Green Deal Provider must give appropriate advice within the terms of the Consumer Act

-The Green Deal provider must have consent from the bill payer before the works are carried out.

-The presence of the Green Deal must be disclosed to subsequent tenants or owners

-Energy suppliers must collect the Green Deal charge and pass it on to the Green Deal provider.

What is reassuring about this slightly convoluted process is that it clearly cannot work at a small scale, it will simply collapse under the weight of its own bureaucracy. This has to be done at a large scale.

Also reassuring is the small print that says that help will be available for households who will not save money, simply because they are fuel poor and have not been turning their heating on.

Help is also assumed for dealing with solid wall properties that will be more expensive to treat, this may come from the new Energy Company Obligation(ECO). This starts in 2012 and will replace the current CERT programme of measures.

Finally, the measures will be available for small businesses as well as home owners.

The programme is to have final legislation in Early 2012 and first work starting in Autumn 2012. To your starting positions please.



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