The government has announced the next steps of the Green Deal in secondary legislation today. The Green Deal aims to make it easier for households to get hold of funds necessary to make key improvements to their home’s energy efficiency.
According to DECC, millions of homes in the UK are without any double glazing, while more than half of us don’t have insulation or an energy efficient boiler.
This is particularly bad news as Britain strives to reduce its carbon emissions. It is estimated that 43% of the UK’s total greenhouse gas emissions are down to our poorly insulated, energy-wasting homes.
The government looked at more than 600 responses to its consultation, published in November, which outlined key proposals for how the Green Deal would work.
Next steps announced
Key changes that have emerged today include:
– more consumer protection, such as a restriction on ‘cold calling’
– Green Deal Assessors (who determine what energy efficiency measures your home needs) to ‘declare any commission they might be receiving for carrying out their assesment’
– cavity wall insulation will now be easier to buy in conjunction with the Green Deal – opening up opportunities to a further 2.8 million homes.
– ‘Green Deal approved’ providers, with interested business able to register with a ‘Green Deal Registration and Oversight Body’. This means that customers can make sure that their assessor or provider is properly approved.
– Ofgem will be the official administrator of the Green Deal
Legislation to be released next week is also expected to include another 100,000 to make around 230, 000 low income households in low income areas to receive support.
What we say
Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch, said today’s announcement heralds ‘good news for consumers’:
“…as the Green Deal is shaping up to be the consumer-friendly and market-changing initiative everyone was hoping for. It will help consumers to bring the cost of their energy bills down and make the cost of their energy more affordable in the long-term. There’s a mountain to climb when it comes to the affordability of our energy and the task of making the majority of our homes energy efficient, but the Green Deal will set consumers on the right path.
“We know from recent research that energy has become unaffordable for many households and people really do need help. Green Deal isn’t just about providing funding, it’s also about getting consumers advice that they can trust and quality work done safely. More importantly in these difficult financial times, this work can be paid for by savings made on their energy bills.
“It is also particularly good that some ECO funding will be focussed on poorer areas and people who need the help most.
“If the Green Deal is to succeed fully then it has to capture the minds and the confidence of consumers.
The protection, the quality control, the transparency and ease of understanding outlined today will all allow consumers to enjoy the benefits of the scheme safe in the knowledge that they can expect to ‘get what it says on the tin’.
This in turn will ensure that people will quickly start to trust the Green Deal and to believe that it will deliver tangible results in their home.”
Energy Secretary and Climate Change Secretary Edward Davey said:
“Today I have published the Government’s detailed plans along with legislation that will allow the industry to bring the Green Deal into existence. The Green Deal will play a huge role in improving the energy efficiency of our homes and businesses, with ECO making sure that the most vulnerable homes benefit too.
“We have listened very carefully to what industry, consumer groups, and other organisations have told us. Broad support for a managed, tested and careful introduction of the Green Deal fits exactly with our objective to provide an excellent customer experience from day one and a market where a range of new players can readily participate.
“I am determined to make sure that, in addition to creating huge opportunities for Green Deal providers and businesses along with thousands of new jobs, this new market in energy efficiency will deliver the very best deal for consumers.”
To learn more about the Green Deal, see our quick and easy guide: What is the Green Deal?