Please note, information on this page is subject to changes in legislation and policy
Update on latest developments and announcements
Green Deal and ECO secondary legislation passed by the House of Lords: Framework on track for October
The underpinning framework for the Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation (ECO) has passed another milestone. On 23rd July, the secondary legislation was approved by the House of Lords - keeping Government on track to Framework completion by October.
The Home Energy Conservation Association is revitalising the Home Energy Conservation Act requiring all English local authorities to report on proposed energy conservation measures to improve the energy efficiency of their residential accommodation - bearing in mind that the Green Deal can enable them to achieve this. DECC will shortly publish guidance to local authorities on the requirements and how they might consider framing their local priorities and ambitions.
DECC is supporting a project led by the Centre for Sustainable Energy to produce an interactive pack for community groups and others to enable them to prepare for and make the best of the opportunities presented by the Green Deal. The pack will provide robust guidance for communities on getting the best from the Green Deal in their area, including understanding the local housing stock and the opportunities for improvement; defining the options available in their locality, given the skills, resources and experience available within it; negotiating with Green Deal Providers and other parts of the Green Deal supply chain, and engaging local people in a refurbishment scheme.
The completed Green Deal and ECO Framework will allow the market to come into existence - though it will be up to companies to decide when and how to enter. The Government is continuing to work with delivery partners to start the Green Deal with an early period of focussed testing which will build into a national roll out.
The Green Deal Code of Practice was laid in Parliament on Thursday 28 June and supplements secondary legislation. The requirements set out in the Code are designed to ensure that all Green Deal Participants and Certification Bodies operate fairly and transparently; deliver good customer service; have adequate levels of training; and provide appropriate redress mechanisms for customers. Green Deal Participants and Certification Bodies must abide by the conditions set out in the Code in order to operate in the Green Deal, and this will be monitored by the Oversight and Registration Body.
From October, Green Deal assessors will be able to complete assessments and providers will be able use the assessment to issue quotes so consumers will be ready to complete a Green Deal plan at the end of January, when the relevant parts of the framework regulations come into effect.
Green Deal authorised installers will be able to complete work for consumers prior to the end of January if paid for upfront or wholly supported by the Energy Company Obligation. The number of available offers is expected to rise as more providers enter the market.
ENERGY SAVING ADVICE
Steps to prepare for the October launch of the Green Deal have included a new "Energy Saving Advice Service" run by the Energy Saving Trust, which opened in April to give information and advice on energy saving to householders and non domestic customers. From October this advice line is intended to support consumer confidence in the Green Deal with impartial advice and, where appropriate, referrals to authorised Green Deal participants. It will also be an entry point for those who may qualify for extra help through the ECO arrangements.
There has been considerable concern and comment that the Green Deal was for the "big six" energy providers and a handful of other large organisations. To encourage SMEs to take part in the Green Deal regional roundtables with SMEs have been held and a new SME roundtable is being set up. Regional events are being held throughout June and July to inform companies about the opportunities the Green Deal offers them.
To cuts costs some authorisation requirements have been changed, with no fees for Assessors, Installers, and Providers to register with the Green Deal Oversight Body in the first two years.
NATIONAL OCCUPATIONAL STANDARDS
There is now a full set of National Occupational Standards (NOS), allowing qualifications to be developed across Great Britain, with a full set of Qualification and Credit Framework (QCF) units for England and Wales and a detailed syllabus for the Green Deal Assessor (Advisor) qualification, for the whole of Great Britain. However, arrangements for engineering graduates registered with the Engineering Council are still being resolved with DECC. CIBSE is in discussions to ensure that these energy professionals are not excluded from offering their services and expertise to non-domestic Green Deal clients.
BSI has published the Green Deal Installer standard, Publicly Available Specification (PAS) 2030, the Installer standard for installation processes for Green Deal measures. It also covers management of the processes and quality of customer service provided.
PAS 2030 details the various Green Deal energy efficiency improvement measures that may be installed. The November consultation package asked about the range of measures for non domestic buildings, and in response to the comments made a further 15 non-domestic measures are added to the approved list.
GREEN DEAL REGISTER
The Green Deal Register opens early in August for accredited certification bodies, which include CIBSE Certification, to apply for authorisation. This will allow certified assessors to be included on the Green Deal Register of authorised persons. Assessors who want to be certified and authorised through CIBSE Certification can express an interest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org now.
The Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation consultation closed on 18th January 2012. In preparation for the official response by the Institution, CIBSE held a consultation workshop on 10th January 2012. Roundtable discussions took place focusing on the three main areas of interest (Chapters 1, 2 and 7) identified by CIBSE as well as scope for further comment. All the comments submitted by each table were collated and included in the CIBSE response to Government. This is available to read in full on the consultations response page. We would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the consultation process and look forward to your continued expert support in the future.
Following consideration of more than 600 responses to the Government's November consultation on the Green Deal and ECO, full details of the final policy have been set out in the response document published on 11th June 2012.
Feedback from the consultation directed focus towards four key policy areas: strengthening consumer protection, reducing industry burdens, improving behind-the-scenes operations and revising ECO.
The Government has published a short summary document that sets out the elements of the framework that are already in place and specifies those that will follow over the coming months:
To access the full list of accompanying documents to the consultation response please visit the DECC Green Deal consultation page.
These policies will boost the burgeoning low carbon economy by supporting up to 60,000 jobs in the insulation sector alone by 2015, up from around 26,000 today. They will empower consumers by giving them new ways of funding home improvements and empower businesses by enabling them to compete for energy efficiency opportunities in new and innovative ways.
In addition to setting out the parts of the framework that are already in place, Government announcements provide clarity to the market by detailing next steps to getting Green Deal and ECO rules set by October ensuring support worth around £1.3bn a year to deliver energy efficiency and heating measures across Great Britain to help tackle fuel poverty and climate change. An increased focus on lower income areas should see an extra 100,000 households benefitting each year, compared to original proposals, bringing the total number of low income households and those in low income areas assisted to around 230,000 a year.
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.
Changes have also been made to the ECO to 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.
The Government will continue to work with the insulation sector to explore the value of a second tranche of funding for training later in the year to help those moving from CERT and CESP and into related Green Deal installations.
Publications also include a final impact assessment and associated research, and confirm the appointment of Ofgem to be the ECO Administrator. Also today, guidance for industry sets out which measures will qualify for Green Deal finance and the ECO - 45 in all - providing clarity on which sectors fall within scope and underlining the opportunities for innovation enabled by the Green Deal
The Government has committed to review these regulations, in consultation with appropriate stakeholders, before 31 January 2018 and to publish the conclusions in a report. The report will set out the objectives of these regulations and assess the extent to which they were achieved, whether they remain appropriate and, if so, the extent to which they could be achieved with a system that imposes less regulation.
GREEN DEAL OVERSIGHT BODY
Gemserv, with their partners REAL, has been chosen to run the new Green Deal oversight body on behalf of DECC for the next three years following an open competition. Both Gemserv and REAL currently operate the MCS scheme for DECC so are well acquainted with the challenges and requirements involved in operating a scheme of this nature. Gemserv will be responsible for the registration of assessors, installers and providers and monitoring compliance with the Code of Practice. The service will commence in early August ahead of the staged introduction of the Green Deal later in the year.
Following feedback from industry and consumers DECC has also today confirmed that there will be no fees for assessors, installers and providers who wish to get the official Green Deal stamp of approval during the first two years of the scheme. DECC will fund all costs associated with the registration and oversight service for the first two years, with the intention of moving to a fee-based approach from year three onwards, when the Green Deal has become established.
GREEN DEAL OMBUDSMAN
In addition, DECC has announced the appointment of the Ombudsman Services Ltd as the provider of the Green Deal Ombudsman and Investigation Service. This will be a free service which is easy to use for customers who cannot reach an agreement with their Green Deal Provider over a complaint.
DECC has appointed Ombudsman Services Ltd, who currently run Ofgem's Energy Ombudsman Service, for the provision of redress and consumer protection in the Green Deal, following a procurement exercise. The Ombudsman will investigate complaints and determine redress for consumers. Depending on the type of complaint, following an investigation, the Ombudsman will refer cases to the Secretary of State for determining redress or imposing sanctions.
This new service will be up and running by October 2012 and is an important part of the Government's approach to assuring consumer protection under the Green Deal.