The Green Deal – Greg Barkers Web Chat Monday 19 November 2013

Greg Barker, Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change for the UK coalition Government hosted a web chat today about the new Green Deal Scheme.

Question:

I would like to ask the Minister, why, after having been ‘launched’ over 6 weeks ago, are participating companies and householders still unable to undertake energy assessments (the pre-requisite for securing Green Deal Loans)? Surely this should have been sorted out months ago?

Greg Barker

Lets be clear. The Green Deal wasn’t ”launched” six weeks ago. The frame work went live on October 1st to allow companies to begin getting registered as Green Deal Assessors, the real “launch” as such will be 28 January when the first consumer finance plans can go live. However as more Assessors gain accreditation and Green Deal Providers begin marketing their services we expect the number of Assessments to rise.

Question:

1. Do we have any firm ideas of the GD interest rate yet? 2. Do we know how many providers & assessors have registered yet? 3. Are there any targets for the end of the first month? 4. Sky News indicated this weekend that there had been no uptake on the cashback scheme. Do you have any comments on this?

Greg Barker

The interest rate is really important but it is not the only driver nof good value. We are working to deliver the lowest interest rate possible, much lower than typical consumer credit, and are working closely with the Green Investment Bank; but the actual rate will partly depend on the market.

Question:

What recourse, if any, will a GD householder have if their GD charges are higher than they energy bill savings?

Greg Barker

There will be very strong consumer protection to guard against mis-selling, including a new Green Deal Ombudsman. Obviously, the golden rule cant be a guard against a change in behaviour or life style but the products sold must deliver their technical potential and the savings estimates for all Green Deal measures have actually been revised down further, so are on the very conservative side, to err on the side of caution.  So I hope most people will be very pleasantly surprised by the savings they make, even after the finance charges are taken into account!

Question:

When will GD Finance be available?

Greg Barker

28 January 2013.

Question:

How long is the Green Deal likely to last? Would a change in government affect it?

Greg Barker

This is a transformational new market for Energy Efficiency. We reckon that the huge challenge of retrofit plus the exciting growth of new cost effective measures and technologies means that the market will run at scale to at least 2030.

Question:

What will cause householders or tenants to take up the Green Deal when there is no direct financial benefit to them?

Greg Barker

There will be a direct financial benefit for the first Green Deal Customers, which is why people should get in early.

The Green Deal Cash back, recently announced by George Osborne, could mean up to £1,000 cash for taking up a variety of Green Deal measures, on top of the the very real annual savings we expect every Green Deal customer to benefit from.

But it is not just about cash, it is about home improvements too, increasing the value and comfort level of your home. Don’t under-estimate the power of aspiration!

Question:

I have not read or heard much in the Press etc about the Green Deal, what plans are there to communicate this initiative to the public?

Greg Barker

We have a major PR plan for 2013 but the biggest push will come from the diverse range of Green Deal providers themselves.

Question:

When do you expect Green Deal to take off in earnest? Will there be an influx of demand on 28 Jan? Or will it be a slow burner?

Greg Barker

This is a two decade project. We want steady growth through 2013 as the market gains confidence, systems are tested and new entrants gain confidence to roll out their models at scale.

Yes we want a very positive launch but we don’t want hype!

Question:

Do you have a total number of qualified GD assessors and GDAS / GDAO’s to date and how many you would considered are needed?

Greg Barker

New Assessors are just starting to come through now, we have paid for training for the first 1000 assessors and 1000 installers, The first 247 installers have now been accredited but many, many more in the pipe line.

Question:

Is there any guidance or regulation regarding this cost of a Green Deal Assessment and Report?

Greg Barker

This is clearly very important and we are going to be watching this very carefully but until the scheme really gets going, we wont have a good feel as it is for the market to set the most competitive rates.

Any charges though will have to be declared upfront, and many Green Deal providers are indicating they may offer them for free.

Question:

Whom would be the first point of contact for a consumer wanting to take up the GD?

Greg Barker

You cant go wrong with a call to our new Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234.

I have been there myself (even took a couple of calls!) but was really impressed with the breadth of knowledge and expertise of the advisers on the end of the phone.

Question:

How many companies have registered as Green Deal providers so far?

Greg Barker

Only just starting to clear the process which opened on October 1st but there are 12 companies through now with many, many more in the pipeline, expected through before Christmas.

We published new GD Provider guidance on the DECC Website today, so do have a look at that too.

Question:

What can you tell us about Green Deal Assessor Software?

Greg Barker

Lots of people asking me about the Green Deal Assessor Software, including on Twitter over the weekend.

It is being validated by the BRE as we speak and we are pressing them for this asap, as we know that a lot of you need it soon as possible, We should have it by the end of the month if not sooner.

Question:

Would a village hall be able to take advantage of the Green deal initiative?

Greg Barker

Absolutely! although it may need help with the forms!

Seriously community projects are a key part of my vision for an ambitious Green Deal roll out and hope that many groups who took advantage of our LEAF funding will be at the the front of the queue for Green Deal finance for their community buildings.

Question:

How will the industry be regulated to ensure consumers are not over charged for equipment, installation and interest rates? Is it down to the individual providers to set there own prices?

Greg Barker

We have created a dedicated Oversight and Registration Body to govern and police the GreenDeal. But individual companies and providers will set their own prices and offers. Lots of healthy competition for the consumers business will be key to the market.

Question:

When does the Non_domestic green deal become available?

Greg Barker

Non Domestic Green Deal for businesses, will spring to life on 28 January too. But this is a more complex market so we expect it to develop over the year.

However I am really excited about the long term potential for the Green Deal for Business to help overhaul our inefficient commercial, retail and industrial buildings.

Question:

As mentioned in one of your previous answers “we have paid for training for the first 1000 assessors and 1000 installers”. Who do we contact to get the benefit of this paid training?

Greg Barker

For details of the Assessor Training please contact WWW.AssetSkills.org

For Installer Training for solid wall installers please contactwww.cskills.org

Question:

Is it possible for a GD provider, assessor and installer to operate under one business entity?

Greg Barker

Yes is the answer, it can be all under the same roof but lots of different providers will offer a variety of services, some in conjunction or in partnerships with other groups or companies.

Question:

What can you tell us about ECO?

Greg Barker

Lots of people asking about ECO, our new measure focused on the fuel poor and hard to treat homes.

Energy Companies can already start delivering against their ECO targets already but we want to open the market up further and will be consulting shortly on the ECO Brokerage.

The Sunday Times suggested yesterday that ECO could add £50 to consumer bills, Massively wide of the mark, we don’t expect any additional cost on bills as it replaces existing schemes almost pound for pound but should deliver even more through greater competition and efficiency.

Question:

Will rural/hard to treat places (western isles for example) be able to take advantage of the GD?

Greg Barker

Yes is the answer!

Unlike CERT I specifically designed ECO to have a ring fenced pot of subsidy for rural areas and we also expect ALL Local Authorities to have a plan to offer Green Deal to their residents in every part of the country and expect the private sector to work closely with them.

Question:

How will Govt ensure smaller builders/plumbers & builders merchants not squeezed out by big retailers & energy costs?

Greg Barker

SME’s are key to delivering the Green Deal. They are by far the most trusted companies that people want to work in their home, especially for the bigger jobs when they are going to e left alone in the property to get on with it.

There are several different ways in which SMEs can participate but i think becoming a trusted partner of the Local Authority will be a big advantage.

Question:

Why would property owners want to use GD finance when there are cheaper options available to them?

Greg Barker

I am all for choice! If someone has a better route to improving their home they should take it!

But don’t forget all the additional protections and safeguards that come with the Green Deal.

Upfront costs remain the biggest barrier to most people taking on a major retrofit, Green Deal is about way more than just a bit of lagging, so this should be fantastic for millions of people.

Question:

You mentioned that energy suppliers can already start delivering on their ECO targets, but without the necessary guidance from OFGEM to ensure compliance, the reality is that this is not happening yet. Do you know when we can expect this from OFGEM?

Greg Barker

The ECO guidance is due very shortly but OFGEM actually wrote directly to the Big Six last week spelling out the principles of how the ECO will work and you can view it on their website now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your Name:

Address:

Postcode:

Email:

Telephone:

Which Measures?
 Double Glazing Insulation Cavity Wall Solid Wall Roof New Boiler Draught Exclusion Photovoltaics

Other measure's not listed here:

Download your FREE
20 page guide:

Download your FREE guide here