Green Deal newsletter now available
With so many changes affecting GDAOs over the past few months, we thought there would be value in creating a periodic newsletter covering Green Deal issues specifically and this is the first edition.
Looking today at the Green Deal market, the industry is still reeling from the premature closure of the first Home Improvement Fund, but the more positive news is that the Government is already committing to its successor, which is out today. In an attempt to get things right for the future, an initial investigation has determined that there is no evidence of a significant misuse of the first scheme. The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has also held a number of workshops to seek advice on how the Green Deal scheme could operate more efficiently.
One certain change to be aware of is the introduction of the new Green Deal Advice Report (GDAR) which changes the output of the Occupancy Assessment and launches on 7th December, coinciding with the release of RdSAP 9.92. In short, the GDAR will now be less specific in what it recommends and a new document called a Green Deal Improvement Plan (GDIP) will be used to refine the recommendation of the GDARs see our GDIP update. GDIPS (apologies for the acronyms) will only be required if the customer is to proceed with a Green Deal Plan. It is expected that most GDIPS will be completed by the Green Deal Provider but GDAs may be asked to produce them on occasions. Urgent clarification on the process has been requested and as soon as we have it we will write to you with a technical bulletin.
There has been some negative publicity relating to the Green Deal Bank and its access to funds but more recently, their spokesperson assured us that interest and activity in relation to funds is high. Ironically the bank may have benefitted from the flawed HIF initiative, and there are fewer concerns around its long term viability.
In spite of these positive steps, the industry will need to work together if the scheme is to achieve its potential in the future. Participants in the industry, including Elmhurst Energy, are lobbying for the removal of the unnecessary restrictions preventing the use of the Green Deal logo which in turn hamper the efforts of participants and advisors to give the scheme the promotional exposure that it so much needs. With regards to standards, here is a move from some quarters to provide better guidance on Continuing Professional Development for GDAs. We are happy to support such guidance so long as it doesn’t bring unnecessary costs or restrictions for Advisors and Assessor Organisations. In the same vein, after pressure from some customer organisations to carry out ‘mystery shopping’ DECC has inspected 30 properties multiple times, one of which being a university which is to be used as the benchmark. The initiative will undoubtedly prove valuable although Elmhurst Energy is keen to see DECC test its findings with active participants to ensure that any drawn conclusions are fair and valid.
Additionally and not helped because Green Deal got off to a stuttering start, some GDAOs don't fully understand the quality controls we, the Green Deal Certification Body, are required to perform. We will cover this in full detail later in this newsletter, however, if you have any queries or concerns or would like any basic clarification, please do not hesitate to speak to someone from our Business Development Team who is ready to advise you and would also love to hear your views on what you perceive is happening. Please contact us by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.