The Parliamentary Yearbook is currently gathering news items for major features on sustainable energy and climate change in the next edition and has been monitoring progress following the Energy Act last year
A £7m loan from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to The Green Deal Finance Company (TGDFC) has been agreed today that will allow TGDFC to continue developing its offer of low cost finance, expected to be available early in 2013. Green Deal Providers will be able to access finance through TGDFC, enabling them to offer low cost finance packages to consumers upgrading their homes under the Green Deal.
The Green Deal Finance Company is a not-for-profit company incorporated in March this year. It was set up to investigate how to provide the lowest cost finance to the Green Deal, to enable a competitive market and maximise the Green Deal measures that can be implemented across the United Kingdom.
The Green Deal is a Government-sponsored framework to allow private firms to offer all UK consumers (households, communities and workplaces) energy efficient improvements to their buildings. Consumers will pay back the cost of such improvements through the resulting savings in their energy bills.
At the heart of the Green Deal is the rule that savings on bills will exceed the cost of the work. By meeting this Golden Rule, customers will get energy savings for free. Consumers will pay back the cost of such improvements through the expected savings in their energy bills. Improvements can include measures such as loft and cavity wall insulation, innovative hot water systems, condensing boilers and may also include more costly measures such as solar thermal energy or solid wall insulation.
The aim of The Green Deal Finance Company is to provide the lowest cost of finance to the market place, which in turn will mean the widest range of energy efficient measures can meet the Golden Rule, which of course is significantly impacted by the underlying cost of finance. Its membership, once operational, will be open to all market participants with a view to funding Green Deal Providers to deliver the Green Deal. Its existing membership is already representative of the whole market and they anticipate a far wider group of companies joining as members leading up to the Green Deal “go live” in October this year.
The Green Deal is also being considered as an early candidate for the use of infrastructure guarantees, Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, announced today. This demonstrates the Government’s commitment to working with the private sector to provide finance at a low but sustainable cost to Green Deal customers. Infrastructure guarantees will provide guarantees for major UK infrastructure projects and could potentially support up to £40 billion of investment.
From today, the register for Green Deal Providers, Assessors and Installers will also open. The register will give the seal of approval to businesses that successfully go through the Green Deal authorisation process.
All authorised Green Deal Providers, Assessors and Installers will have to display the new Green Deal Quality Mark to demonstrate they comply with the required Green Deal standards. This will be vital for protecting customers from any rogue traders. Only registered and authorised businesses will be able to use this mark.
Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said:
“I’m delighted to announce a number of important developments for the Green Deal today. The opening of the Green Deal register will enable businesses to start becoming Green Deal authorised and the Green Deal Quality Mark will show they have met our standards. Crucially, this will protect consumers, who will know that anyone displaying the Quality Mark has been through the required process to become authorised.
“The loan we have agreed with The Green Deal Finance Company will help them to undertake essential development and be ready to offer finance to Green Deal Providers in early 2013.”
Businesses wishing to become Green Deal Providers can apply directly online to become authorised, while accredited certification bodies will be able to submit the details of Assessors and Installers to be authorised.
New guidance is available on the DECC website which clearly explains what is required to get the Green Deal Quality Mark and to become an authorised Provider. This complements existing guidance setting out how to become an authorised Assessor or Installer.
The Green Deal will open up the energy efficiency market, empowering new players, including small and medium sized businesses, to enter and innovate. The Green Deal initially covers 45 different improvements for domestic and non-domestic buildings and is expected to support up to 60,000 jobs in the insulation sector alone by 2015.
The Parliamentary Year book will continue to report on environmental issues and their impact on the UK as we go through the months ahead.