I don’t know for sure, but I think I can reasonably claim that Green Deal is approximately one year old about now. One year on, then, it’s good to note that DECC has listened, and has announced some changes…
“The Green Deal is also being strengthened to make it more attractive for consumers and to remove unnecessary cost for companies. Further details will be made available in the new year”
This is an extract from DECC’s latest newsflash, available at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/households-continuing-to-make-their-homes-more-energy-efficient
Read on for more of my thoughts on a year of Green Deal....
Working with others, I set up the GDAA consortium for the benefit of independent Advisors, providing them the opportunity to deliver Green Deal assessments to their customers without the expense of having to become a Green Deal Assessor organisation (GDAO). A year’s experience of running this not-for-profit GDAO has left me with good and bad memories, with the bad including many hours of unpaid work. Make no mistake, it has not been a profitable year for anyone involved in Green Deal, and one year on, many Advisors have stopped working on Green Deal, and a number of GDAOs are no longer active. On the plus side, though, the good includes knowing that I’ve assisted many independent Advisors to get a foothold in Green Deal, and I can take some satisfaction from the fact that most of them are still active.
GDAA continues to believe that the independent Advisor should be at the heart of the Green Deal customer experience. We continue to campaign, with IDEA, for a searchable database of local Advisors. Can anyone reading this give me any insight into why DECC/GD-ORB don’t want this? I believe it would help customers find a local, independent Advisor, rather than someone from outside their area who may possibly not be familiar with local property styles and options. You may be surprised to read that this doesn’t already exist, as it is such an obviously good idea, but so far, it’s not been possible to convince DECC and GD-ORB that it’s needed. IDEA and GDAA continue to work on it, pointing out the advantages for consumers, and for positive promotion of the Green Deal.
One GDAA Advisor recently observed that at present, he was just producing reports to rubber stamp grant applications. Yes, a good number of GDARs now being lodged are for ECO and RHI applications, and yes, I can understand that some might think of these as ‘rubber stamping’, but that’s not how I see it. Instead, it’s my view that any energy advice, whatever the reason it’s given, is a good thing; equally, any Green Deal activity must encourage a wider awareness of Green Deal. It seems that DECC’s research, quoted above, supports the view that customers value the advice they receive in a Green Deal assessment.
Next year, the changes DECC has promised to Green Deal will hopefully include even more reasons to obtain a Green Deal assessment – stamp duty rebate being just one possibility. We need to shake off, once and for all, the misunderstanding that the only reason to have a Green Deal assessment is to access Green Deal Finance, and in future, the Green Deal assessment will reflect the fact that Green Deal Finance is just one of several ways to pay for energy efficiency improvements. The success of Green Deal should not be measured by how many clients take up Green Deal Finance, but by how many install improvements. The planet doesn’t care how we reduce our carbon emissions – it only cares that we reduce them – and equally, it doesn’t matter how the client pays for their energy improvement measures. The only thing that matters is that they do install them!
It’s been a mixed year for anyone involved in Green Deal, but I intend sticking with it a bit longer. I’m sure we all look forward to hearing the details of DECC’s changes to Green Deal in the new year, and we look to DECC to ensure they bring a much needed boost to Green Deal.