There are a number of concerns in the industry around the assessment process:
-the assessment process for the Green Deal requires an assessment of the property by an accredited Green Deal Assessor. Without this there can be no Green Deal. This means that the Green Deal Assessor needs to be able to assess a property for suitable measures, calculate the improvements, and agree the plan with the resident. This is a very different job from the traditional EPC Domestic Energy Assessors, many of whom are paid a pittance and (if the amount of cloned EPC data on RHP’s books is to be believed) haven’t even visited the properties that are supposed to be assessed. The likelihood is that many of these DEA’s will retrain as Green Deal Assessors (GDA’s) Will they be able to carry out this much more demanding role?
I think that this is an opportunity for building surveyors and architects to enter this market. The market will need people who understand buildings in the round, and who can assess whether a measure is viable as well as beneficial in energy efficiency terms.
-the consultation is open to how the assessment process is paid for and envisages that in some cases the assessment will be paid for by the Green Deal Provider, the company carrying out the work. When the Green Deal Plan is agreed between the GDA and the occupier, the Plan must be costed by multiple Green Deal Providers. This means that if a Green Deal Provider pays for a hundred plans, they may only get the work from thirty or so, so the value to them is uncertain.
I think that it makes more sense for the cost of the assessment process to be set at a flat rate which is then rolled into the cost of every Green Deal Plan, in the same way that a mortgage provider rolls in the cost of arranging the mortgage finance. This would allow the market to find the best way of delivering the assessment in an independent way without putting uncertain costs onto the Green Deal Plan. It would mean that the Green Deal Assessment process is independent of the Green Deal Providers, as a guaranteed income would attract professionals into the market, and their Green Deal Plans would be sufficiently high quality for the Green Deal Providers to use to tender for the works. If the Green Deal Providers do not have confidence in the plans they will either, not tender, or have to visit the site and carry out their own assessment process anyway, thus duplicating the effort and cost of the assessment process.