Highlights from the Green Deal and ECO Consultation Response

The overall flavour is that the Government has listened to the consultation responses and made substantial changes to the design of the Green Deal.

Here are a few key messages including the main changes(as I see it) from the Govt response to the Green Deal consultation;

-Assessors have to be clear when selling assessments whether they are allied to, or being paid by, a particular Green Deal provider or not.

-Green Deal Providers must pay assessors for work done, even if it does not lead to a Green Deal

-Users who use less energy than average will be warned that taking out a Green Deal may not save them any money. (The Green Deal assessment is based on average energy usage in similar properties)

-The interest rate will be fixed on Green Deals, a bit like a fixed rate mortgage, but Green Deal Providers can increase the amount of the loan by 2% in line with inflation!

-The requirement for every measure to have insurance lasting the length of the life of the measure has been dropped as it has been acknowledged that this is not good value for money. Improvements can be guaranteed for five to ten years, and for twenty-five years for Insulation measures.

The ECO funding for low income families and hard-to-treat properties has changed significantly:

-There are now three elements, Affordable Warmth, Carbon Saving Communities(new) and Carbon Savings.

-The Carbon Savings fund of £760M per annum will apply to solid wall insulation and hard-to-treat cavity walls.

-The Carbon Saving Communities funding is very similar to the current CESP fund insofar as it is aimed at the lowest 15% of Lower Super Output Areas from the Index of Multiple Deprivation. (Who dreams up these bizarre terms to describe poor people in ways that doesn’t use the word ‘poor’?) This fund will have a value of £190M per annum. 15% of this expenditure should be aimed at rural communities under 10,000 people. Measures that can be applied include loft, cavity and solid wall insulation. There is no mention, so far, of any uplift for carrying out multiple measures on a single property, or for carrying out larger percentages in an area as is currently the case with CESP.

-the ECO funding will be delivered by the energy companies in proportion to their market share for the big six.

-Affordable Warmth is available to households on low incomes in private tenures, £350M per annum.

-There will be a evaluation carried out of progress starting in line with the beginning of the Green Deal. ( I remember suggesting this to a DECC official: only to have it dismissed it as being impossible to deliver under the current circumstances, I’m glad this turned out not to be the case)

Two small nuggets that suggest that someone in DECC has been listening to my regular observations that the Green Deal can only be an effective mechanism at scale:

-the £200M fund aimed at increasing takeup of the Green Deal is likely to be aimed at street-by-street initiatives.

-The Home Energy Conservation Act (HECA) will be revitalised to encourage Local Authorities to plan for CO2 emission reductions on a borough wide basis.

That’s all for now.

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