The Green Deal: next steps, legislation, consultation response and explanatory animation
The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has published detailed plans and secondary legislation to allow industry to bring the Green Deal energy efficiency market into operation, alongside measures to strengthen consumer protection, reduce industry burdens, and implement the Energy Company Obligation (ECO).
DECC has also published the Government response to the Green Deal and ECO consultation, setting out the key issues that came out of the consultation process and describing the major amendments to the final policy made after consideration of more than 600 responses.
Meanwhile, independent energy and climate change consultant Paula Owen has worked with explanimation.net to produce an animated explanation of the Green Deal, available to view on the Green Alliance blog.
Responding to the Green Deal consultation
The Government response to the November consultation on the Green Deal and ECO sets out full details of the final policy following consideration of more than 600 responses.
This includes ensuring that robust consumer standards are met, creating a market that balances consumer protection and burdens on businesses. Changes include improved consumer protections such as restrictions on ‘cold calling’, and new rules requiring Green Deal Assessors to declare any commission they might be receiving for carrying out an assessment and any ties to Green Deal Providers. A change to the warranties proposal eases requirements on businesses to hold warranties for the length of a Green Deal Plan while maintaining robust minimum standards of protection for consumers, including 25 year warranties in the case of wall insulation. Improvements for behind the scenes operations make it easier for energy companies administering the Green Deal charging to deliver a smoother customer experience.
Changes have also been made to the ECO to include allow more hard-to-treat cavity walls to qualify for support, and to provide specific support for low income and rural areas. These changes will help the insulation industry, which has been supported by current schemes, transition successfully to take advantage of the new market opportunities created by Green Deal and ECO. An estimated technical potential of around 2.8 million hard to treat cavity wall properties will now be eligible under the ECO.
Next steps for the Green Deal
The Government-backed Green Deal programme is intended to help bill payers make energy-saving improvements to keep homes warm, allowing people to pay for some or all of the work done with the savings expected to be made on energy bills. ECO, a subsidy from energy suppliers, will provide extra help for those most in need and for properties that are harder to treat.
These policies are expected to boost the low carbon economy by supporting up to 60,000 jobs in the insulation sector alone by 2015, up from around 26,000 today. The Green Deal aims to empower consumers by giving them new ways of funding home improvements and to empower businesses by enabling them to compete for energy efficiency opportunities in new and innovative ways.
The Green Deal will be introduced through a responsible and controlled approach with full national systems testing, ensuring the market can build over the next eighteen months, meeting Government ambitions for a national energy efficiency retrofit across the next decade and beyond. The Green Deal framework will be built on sound foundations, starting with assessors, installers and Green Deal Providers to ensure they are ready to start work in October.
From August this year accredited certification bodies can submit applications to register with the Green Deal Registration and Oversight Body, and will then be able to register assessors and installers as ‘Green Deal Approved’. Similarly, potential Green Deal Providers will be also able to apply for approval. At the same time, new systems introduced by energy suppliers for the collection of the Green Deal charge will be robustly tested. This will ensure that preparations can be made ready for the next step: the signing of the first Green Deal plans in January 2013, from where the market for the Green Deal will continue to grow.
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.”
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