What is the Green Deal?
The Green Deal is the Government's flagship initiative to increase the energy efficiency of British properties in both the public and private sector, set to come into force in October 2012. With commercial and domestic properties accounting for just under 50% of greenhouse gas emissions, this initiative will play a significant role in fulfilling the Government's ambitious commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050.
The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) are responsible for the Green Deal, although there is also significant overlap with the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) where work falls within the scope of the Building Regulations. Gemserv, in partnership with REAL, are the oversight body responsible for the Green Deal. They will principally monitor compliance with its associated Code of Practice and license the quality mark associated with the scheme.
The Green Deal is one of the provisions of the 2011 Energy Act. Essentially a financing framework, it enables the provision of fixed improvements to the energy efficiency of households and non-domestic properties. The framework essentially involves a loan, the repayment of which will be funded by a charge based on overall energy bill savings, allowing consumers to forgo upfront payments for energy saving installations.
The loan will be tied to the building through a surcharge added to the electricity bill. This means that repayment of the cost of installations will become the responsibility of the new owners should the property be sold.
When is Green Deal Finance Applicable?
Consumers will be deemed eligible for this incentive providing the measure meets the "Golden Rule", a simple calculation used to assess the viability of the Green Deal incentive in any given case. To qualify, the predicted savings from energy efficiency improvements to a property must exceed the level of the loan taken to cover (or contribute to) the cost of installation. The "Golden Rule" aims to keep energy bills no higher than they would have been without the Green Deal.
The following steps must be taken in order to qualify for Green Deal funding:
- The measure (or type of installation, e.g. solar PV) has to have been reviewed in an advice report, issued by an official Green Deal Advisor (GDA).
- The loan is not funded by central government and will be made available by one of a number of organisations known as Green Deal Providers (GDP). These providers will be responsible for recouping the cost of the installation through a charge based on energy bill savings, made as a result of energy efficient improvements.
- All installation work must be carried out by an approved Green Deal Installer (GDI).
The Green Deal framework will therefore need to be supported by a large pool of qualified advisors and installers. Only energy saving home improvements carried out by certified Green Deal installers will be eligible for the Green Deal financial incentive and payment framework. And, only a qualified Green Deal Advisor can assess a property for Green Deal eligibility. NAPIT can provide accredited certification for both installers and advisors.
DECC has published a list of energy efficient "measures" which will be eligible for the Green Deal. It is expected that further measures will be added as the program develops. Measures that will currently qualify for Green Deal funding when the program goes live include:
- Gas and Oil Fired Condensing Boilers
- Warm air units
- Radiant Heating
- Heating, ventilation and air conditioning controls
- Fan assisted replacement storage heaters
- Under-floor heating
- Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery
- Flue gas recovery devices
- Variable speed drives for fans and pumps
- Cavity wall insulation
- Loft or rafter insulation
- Roof Insulation
- Internal and external wall insulation
- Draught proofing
- Floor Insulation
- Heating system insulation (cylinder, pipes and ducts)
- Lighting systems, controls and fittings
- Water efficient systems, taps and showers
- Hot water controls (including timers and temperature control)
- Cylinder thermostats
- Waste water heat recovery attached to showers
- Ground Air and water source heat pumps
- Solar water heating
- Solar PV
- Micro wind turbines
- Biomass boilers and room heaters
- Replacement glazing
- Secondary glazing
- Solar blinds, shutters and shading device
- High performance external doors
A full list of the measures eligible under the Green Deal as well as useful information regarding the steps consumers have to follow to qualify can be found here.
What does the process entail?
Green Deal Advice Report
Assessment of the building by a certified Green Deal Advisor will involve:
- Assessment of the fabric of the building, resulting in an Energy performance Certificate (EPC). This will help determine the measures likely to be eligible for Green Deal finance.
- An occupancy assessment which will analyse additional information regarding the energy consumption of inhabitants. This will include information such as the number of residents in a given household as well as hours and level of heating use.
Green Deal Providers will be responsible for:
- Offering the consumer a Green Deal plan on the basis of the recommendations outlined in a Green Deal Advisor report. This plan must include the terms of the agreement, payment and its duration, as well as warranties to cover the installation.
- Arranging for an approved Green Deal Installer to carry out the work. Installers will be paid by the Provider (the consumer must not be responsible for this).
- In the long term, Providers will be responsible for dealing with consumer complaints. This responsibility will carry over to new homeowners should the property be sold, so long as Green Deal finance is still binding on the property.
- Covering the cost of installations. Green Deal finance can extend to additional costs, such as that of the Advice Report, preparatory work and continued customer support, so long as these costs remain within the Golden Rule.
The installation must be carried out by a certified Green Deal Installer. This will assure customers that the work is carried out to published quality standards and comply with relevant regulations. The GDI carries out this work on behalf of the GDP, not the customer, but the Code of Practice does place requirements for customer care on the installer.
The Framework published for Green Deal also launched a scheme called the Energy Company Obligation (ECO). This will require energy suppliers to provide targeted funding to households which may require additional financial support in order to meet the Golden Rule. This scheme is intended to cover hard-to-treat households for example, or those of low income families. An annual expenditure budget of 1.3 billion pounds has been set aside for this. Only certificated Green Deal Installers can carry out ECO work.
DECC are also currently exploring additional ways to incentivise early uptake, including cash-back and reduced interest rates.
How do I get involved?
You can become a Green Deal Installer as follows:
- Gaining certification to the Green Deal Installer Standard (PAS 2030) from a UKAS accredited Green Deal Certification Body such as NAPIT. This standard is only available from the BSI website.
- Signing an agreement to comply with the Green Deal Code of Practice and licensing arrangements for use of the Green Deal Quality Mark.
- The certification process involves an assessment of office systems and installation compliance. This will involve visits by NAPIT to the company, and will cover a number of sites, assessing the measures that have been applied for.
- If you are already registered under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) the technical competence will be assumed and the additional procedures and processes required will need to meet a new standard MCS023 (effectively a top-up from MCS001 that addresses the issues in PAS2030).
- For Gas Safe Installers, certification to PAS 2030 is required in addition to holding current certificates of competence.
- Once you comply with the requirements, you will be registered for the Green Deal with the Green Deal Oversight Body. Your company's details will then be added to their central register of Green Deal Installers, granting you licence to use the Green Deal Quality Mark.
- If your company is looking to receive UKAS accredited certification against the standard PAS 2030:2012 for the installation of Energy Efficiency Measures and, where requested, for approval under the Green Deal, you must complete and return this application form.
- The application form includes an agreement that you will comply with the following Scheme Rules.
- A list of Green Deal measures covered in PAS 2030: 2012 can be found in the following document.
To operate as a Green Deal Advisor (an individual), you must:
- Meet the requirements to be set out in the National Occupational Standards (NOS) for Green Deal Advisors by completing recognised training (see below).
- Be employed by an organisation, which has been certified by NAPIT, against the relevant Green Deal Scheme standard.
Green Deal Assessment Organisations (or sole traders) can be certificated as follows:
- The organisation must Employ qualified GDAs
- They must meet the official specifications for Green deal Advisors - GDA 002/2012 - which can be found on the Green Deal Oversight Body website or downloaded from the member downloads area of this website.
- The certification process involves an assessment of office systems and an ongoing process of witnessed assessments and report auditing.
- The organisation will have signed up the Code of Practice for the scheme on behalf of their GDAs and be registered with the Green Deal Oversight Body, via NAPIT.
- If you company is looking to receive UKAS accredited certification against the standard "Specification for organisations providing the Green Deal Advice Service", you must complete and return this application form.
- The application form includes an agreement that you will comply with the following Scheme Rules and meet the Specification for Organisations providing the Green Deal Advice Service.
What training will I need?
If you are already approved as competent in your trade, there will be no additional training requirements. Instead, your competency will be reaffirmed through a series of surveillance visits.
Those carrying out measures that are new to them will be expected to demonstrate that they meet the competence requirements via qualifications, recognised training or assessments of prior experience.
NAPIT are currently running an official Green Deal Advisor course (GDA) and its pre-requisite, the Domestic Energy Assessors course (DEA). The DEA course will qualify you to produce Energy and Performance Certificates (EPC's) which are required by law for all homes bought, sold or rented in the UK, and are used to help determine the eligibility of certain measures in a given property for funding under the Green Deal financing framework. The GDA course will then equip you with the skills you need to generate a full Green Deal report using the information collected in the EPC and additional evidence collected during the Green Deal survey. Our GDA course will also give you the opportunity to learn how to use innovative new tablet-based software that can assist in the role of Green Deal Advisor and make the job of assessment and reporting considerably quicker and more professional.
Crucially, no one will be able to enter into a Green Deal plan without first gaining a positive Green Deal report.
Companies seeking Advisor/Installer Combined Approval
Organisations and individuals with relevant prior experience, applying for both roles, will be assessed in a way that will take into account evidence gathered during previous assessments under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) or Competent Person Scheme (CPS). The combined role will need to include steps to avoid any conflict of interest arising from the role where advice leads to installation work.
Full details of the Green Deal are still being finalised (as of August 2012) and may still be subject to some change before the programme is launched in October 2012. The launch is expected to allow a period where GDAs can operate earlier than the go-live date for installations.