Elmhurst Responds to ‘How to make Green Deal Better?’
Elmhurst Energy, the UK's leading EPC Accreditation Scheme has today responded to the Governments call for evidence on ‘How to make the Green Deal better?’
BEIS asked industry for views on how to make Green Deal more streamlined and more effective. They recognise that the current version of Green Deal has not taken off in the numbers wanted by Government.
In the Elmhurst response we have stated that ‘high level’ concept of Green Deal is fine as we have always advocated a market for a ‘pay as you save’ (PAYS) model in the energy efficient retrofit marketplace.
However, the current Green Deal scheme is far too bureaucratic and has too many complexities that made it cumbersome to the home owners/tenants/landlords as well as the industry participants through the various stages of the process. The fixed interest rate was not enticing for individuals and due to these and other reasons the scheme never really took off.
The message from Elmhurst is ‘keep is simple’, place a quality assurance framework around good independent advice, ensure that installs are under a quality framework, and then open up the finance to allow incentives and innovative lending solutions to help people make their homes warmer and cheaper to run.
We at Elmhurst advocate that the start of any energy efficiency journey has two facts:
- The asset (home) is measured taking into account what exists in the home (the RdSAP EPC)
- That an Occupancy Assessment (OA) is undertaken to take the asset rating and plug in the occupancy running costs.
With both these 2 stages the opportunity exists to give good independent advice, which can include behavioural aspects as well as the correct energy efficiency recommendations for ‘that family’ in ‘that home’.
The key to simplicity is simply to extend the ability for Domestic Energy Assessors to up skill to a Domestic Energy Advisors*. People misunderstand that Domestic Energy Assessors are not currently allowed under the auspices of the regulations, to offer consumers advice on EPCs; also the RdSAP methodology is based on standards and averages running times and costs to allow similar comparisons in homes for sale and rent. Thus by offering some DEAs to be qualified in Advice fills the missing gap in current thinking, giving them the Occupancy Assessment tool will allow the Domestic Energy Advisor to give tailored recommendations to the family. (*Current Green Deal Advisors would be already recognised as this)
Thus any and all advice given will be based on fact (the asset), and is based on the occupants within the home. Any new policy including Green Deal, can then set standards and finance options in place to make this a success.
If the UK is to meet its UN climate change targets then we as a nation need schemes that allow consumers to improve their homes in a professional quality assured way; an effective PAYS system will be one avenue which will help people get lower fuel bills and warmer homes.
The Deadline for responses is Thursday 23rd November 2017
Full details of Government Consultation: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/call-for-evidence-on-the-reform-of-the-green-deal-framework