Green Deal Scheme
The Green Deal scheme will overhaul the energy efficiency of the vast majority of UK housing. Currently in the development stage, the Green Deal will enable homeowners, business owners and tenants to plan, fund and undertake energy efficiency improvements. The proposed scheme should be introduced and made available, to consumers, by late spring 2012 and the first Green Deals awarded by autumn 2012.
It is hoped that the Green Deal will encourage people to improve the efficiency of their property, through the removal of the financial burden associated with such renovations. The finance structure within the Green Deal Scheme will transform the way loans are provided to individuals, this is due to the fact that any financial obligations are linked to the house and its current bill payer. For example, should someone complete renovations through the Green Deal scheme, and then subsequently move out they will not be held liable for the repayments.
There will be a variety of organisations associated with the Green Deal Scheme; these are Green Deal Assessors, Green Deal Providers and Green Deal installers. Green Deal Assessors (or Advisors) will conduct assessments on properties in order to determine where the property is performing inefficiently. Assessors will use an updated version of the currently available EPC, which they will then use to suggest possible measures. Assessors, under scheme guidelines, will also be able to encourage efficient use of energy and provide advice on how customers can reduce their overall energy consumption. Green Deal Providers are the next port of call; they will provide the customer with details on the cost of agreed measures, the repayments and the timeframe in which those repayments are to be made. Green Deal Installers form part of the final process in the scheme, installation. Under the scheme, installation will be conducted by fully accredited installers from a wide range of trades. All installations will be covered by relevant guarantees and warranties, though the government has identified that there must be some sort of standardised framework in place in order for warranties and guaranties to be viable. The government intends that any organisation affiliated or involved with the scheme display the ‘Green Mark’. This emblem will work in the same way that ‘Gas Safe’ or ‘Trustmark’ does.
It is imperative that the government provide adequate support for consumers at every stage of the Green Deal Scheme. To address this there will be strict criteria comprising of guidelines, examinations and standardisations that will be integral to the success of the Green Deal scheme. These protections will prevent organisations participating in the scheme from taking advantage of, or misleading, consumers.
It is anticipated that the Green Deal scheme will provide additional benefits, apart from increased energy efficiency. The scheme could create and sustain up to 100,000 jobs across the UK, with the scheme having the biggest impact on trades. Businesses will also be able to take advantage of not only the Green Deal scheme itself, but the increased in demand for their services.