A Green Deal update for our customers

Thank you for expressing your interest over the last few weeks in the Green Deal, following the scheme’s launch on 1st October.

I know we have been in touch with many people over the last few weeks, answering questions and providing as much information as possible on the Green Deal.

As a company, our ethos is to keep things simple for our customers, cutting through the jargon to help people understand clearly what things mean and how they relate to them.

To keep you up to date with the developments over the last few weeks:

  • Green Deal finance is still due to be made available on 28th January 2013. This will enable people to take Green Deal Assessment Reports to Green Deal Installers and Green Deal Finance Providers to agree costs and payment terms for installations available under the Green Deal.
  • The Green Deal software is still not ‘fit for purpose’, which is preventing any Green Deal Assessments from being undertaken at present. The BRE are now working to qualify a training software package to be used in the interim (until specific Green Deal software packages are designed).

Darren Evans Assessments is fully qualified as a Green Deal Advisor Organisation, which means that we can lodge any Green Deal Assessment for any Green Deal Assessor throughout the country. All assessments need to be lodged, not by the advisor, but by a Green Deal Advisor Organisation like ourselves. We also now have Green Deal Assessment capability in-house, so we will have real, hands-on assessor experience to draw upon and can help with any questions or concerns that arise during the Green Deal Assessment process.

We are continuing to develop a nationwide network of Green Deal Advisors so that we can provide a local service to a large part of the UK. We hope that this will enable us to keep costs down and service levels high. We will be offering a service that guides you through the assessment and, if you require it, helps you take the completed Green Deal Assessment Report to the installer and provider to complete the Green Deal process.

As an organisation we are hoping to remain independent in the marketplace so that we will be able to direct our customers, with their completed Green Deal Assessment Reports, to the installers and providers that will offer the best deal, rather than encouraging the work to be undertaken by a particular installer or provider. This will ensure that people get the best from the Green Deal, and are able to maximise the energy efficiency improvements on their home from the investment made.

We continue to provide updates on the Green Deal and on our Green Deal service on our blog (http://www.darren-evans.co.uk/index.php/blog/blog). We are also making comments and providing updates on Twitter and Facebook. We’d be delighted if you follow us there.

We hope that our blog and social media updates will help you make the right decisions so that the Green Deal can make a big difference to the warmth and energy efficiency of your home or business.

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Green Deal Advisor FAQs: getting started

What is the Green Deal?

The Green Deal (GD) forms part of the government’s Energy Act 2011, which intends to reduce carbon emissions cost-effectively across the UK. Essentially, the Green Deal enlists certified Green Deal Advisors (GDA) to identify areas within consumer homes where energy efficiency improvements can be made and paid for with no upfront cost. The improvements are carried out by certified Green Deal Installers (GDI) and the improvements reduce consumer energy bills. The cost of the Green Deal Installations is then added to your electricity bill payments. At the heart of the Green Deal is a simple rule that the estimated savings on energy bills will always equal or exceed the cost of the work.

Why do we need the Green Deal?

At a local level, the Green Deal will enable many households and businesses to improve the energy efficiency of their properties without consuming so much energy and wasting so much money. At a national level, the UK needs to become more energy efficient to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, which risk dangerous climate change, and meet its carbon reduction target by 2020 (34% reduction from 1990). Reducing demand for energy through eliminating waste cost-effectively is one of the best ways to reduce emissions. The Green Deal will deliver energy saving packages to millions of homes and businesses across the country, playing a key role in implementing energy efficiency measures nationwide. Consequently the scheme will provide opportunities for skilled and unskilled labour: from assessment to installation, manufacturing to supply, over the length and breadth of Britain for many years to come.

What qualifications are needed to undertake a Green Deal Assessment?

To become a qualified domestic Green Deal Advisor (GDA), you must be a qualified and currently accredited Domestic Energy Assessor, able to complete Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs). You must also complete the GDA training course.

What does the GDA course include?

The GDA course contents can be best understood and explained by contacting a GDA training provider (see http://www.elmhurstenergy.co.uk/training/green-deal/domestic for further information and course details).

How do I become a Green Deal Advisor?

For more information on how to become a GDA please contact a certified GDA training organisation (see http://www.elmhurstenergy.co.uk/training/green-deal/domestic for further information and course details).

What is involved in completing a Green Deal Assessment?

A Green Deal Assessment includes the following elements:

  • An EPC;
  • An occupancy assessment;
  • A Green Deal Assessment Report discussion.

The initial assessment of a dwelling involves the completion of an EPC. An EPC provides a rating for the energy performance of a dwelling and is based on factors such as age, property layout, construction, heating, lighting, and insulation. If a property already has an EPC (completed after April 2012) then the property may not need a new EPC (assuming that the assessor is satisfied that the completed EPC represents an accurate reflection of the building as currently stands). Once the EPC has been completed the GDA will need to conduct an occupancy assessment which looks at the way in which the home owners use heating, lighting and other energy factors within their property. These two assessments are then used to produce the Green Deal Assessment Report (GDAR). The advisor spends time with the home owner reviewing the document and explaining the results of the assessments and the options open to the home owner under the Green Deal.

How does a GDA lodge Green Deal Assessments?

All GDAs need to work with a Green Deal Advisor Organisation (GDAO) to be able to lodge GDARs. These organisations operate under a set of principles and practices that have been previously approved under the Green Deal. A GDA lodges GDARs through one of these organisations.

How does a Green Deal Advisor choose a Green Deal Advisor Organisation?

GDAs can choose from any of the certified GDAOs listed on the Green Deal Orb website (http://www.greendealorb.co.uk/assessors/assessor-search).

How does a GDA work with a GDAO?

GDAOs need to ensure that all GDAs working under their banner are qualified, and capable of undertaking EPCs and Green Deal Assessments appropriately and accurately. To this end GDAOs need to receive all qualifications and accreditations from GDAs who wish to operate under their banner. GDAOs will also need to assess 5% of all the GDA’s assessments over a 12-month period, and either confirm that Green Deal standards are being followed, or work with the GDA to make corrections to their assessment techniques, ensuring that future assessments are completed appropriately.

Where do Advisors get Green Deal Assessments from?

Assessments can come from either the GDAO or the GDA themselves. Arrangements for sharing work throughout the country and for enabling lodgements to be completed swiftly will be available from the GDAOs and will develop as the market establishes itself.

How long will Green Deal Advisors spend on site per assessment?

GDAs will likely spend between 2 – 3 hours on site completing a Green Deal Assessment. This time will be spent completing the EPC and occupancy assessment, and reviewing the GDAR with the occupants.

Am I too late to qualify as a Green Deal Advisor?

You are not too late to qualify as a GDA. The market is just opening. Green Deal Finance will not be available until 28th January 2013. Also, the software on which GDAs will complete their assessments has not yet been finalised, so no GDAs have been certified to date. But the preparation can start now: if you’re thinking of becoming a GDA, begin by considering where your work will come from. It is wise to consider how long it will take to recover the investment required to qualify to enter the market and how this will be achieved.

Why choose Darren Evans Assessments?

We are passionate about making sustainability work for more families and businesses throughout the UK and see the Green Deal as a great opportunity to achieve this. We are proud to be one of only a few Green Deal Advisor Organisations across the country. We can support Green Deal Advisors as they complete Green Deal Assessment Reports and enable property owners to benefit from the energy-saving measures available through the Green Deal.

At Darren Evans Assessments we work to provide a hassle-free service for our customers, cutting through the jargon and keeping things simple.

We are working to develop a small network of advisors throughout the country, who are qualified, capable and passionate about undertaking these assessments. We are looking to build open and honest relationships with advisors to enable us to deliver a great customer-focused service throughout the country.

Whether you are a property owner or a Green Deal Advisor, we would like to hear from you.

Terminology:

Green Deal Advisor

A qualified Green Deal Advisor is able to produce Green Deal Advice Reports by working with a Green Deal Advisor Certification organisation, once available. Initially, only Domestic Green Deal Advisors (DGDA) are being trained and qualified, with Non-Domestic Green Deal Advisors (NDGDAs) following shortly after.

Green Deal Advisor Organisation

These organisations have been successful in their application to a Green Deal Advisor Scheme for certifiedadvisor status and registered with the GDOB. Green Deal Advisor Organisations are able to work with Green Deal Advisors to complete Green Deal Advice Reports.

Green Deal Assessment Report

GDARs are essentially an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) with an additional Occupancy Assessment (OA) and are produced by a qualified Green Deal Advisor and issued at the request of the building owner. Green Deal Advice Reports are an extension of the EPC and offer further information on energy efficiency measures that can be installed in a building to reduce energy costs, based on individual behavioural patterns.

Energy Performance Certificate

An EPC provides a rating for the energy performance of a home from A to G, where A is very efficient and G is very inefficient. The rating is based on factors such as age, property layout, construction, heating, lighting, and insulation. The ratings are standard so a home owner or tenant can compare the energy efficiency of one home easily with another. The typical rating for a home is D or E.

New DEC legislation for 2013: will it affect you?

On the 9th January 2013, new legislation will be implemented which will extend the requirement to hold a valid Display Energy Certificate (DEC) to smaller public buildings.

From next year, all buildings between 500 m 2 and 999 m 2, which are occupied by a public authority and frequently visited by the public, will need to display a valid DEC. This means that these properties will require a DEC assessment by a qualified assessor.

At Darren Evans Assessments we can perform your DEC assessment thoroughly and cost-effectively. If this new legislation will affect your property, and you’d like further information, call us now on 01454 317 940.

Green Deal incentives announced

Great news for those interested in getting involved with or taking advantage of the Green Deal: the Department of Energy and Climate Change has just announced two exciting new incentives to encourage demand. The press releases are below.

Hundreds of pounds up for grabs with £125 million Green Deal cash back offer

Hundreds of pounds of cash back will be available to householders in England and Wales who make energy saving home improvements under the Green Deal from January 2013, the Government has announced today.

The Green Deal is the Government’s new initiative to transform the UK market for energy efficiency. It will let homes and businesses pay for energy efficiency improvements, like insulation, through expected savings on their energy bills. Households quick off the mark could get as much as £1,000 cash back.

From 28th January 2013, households who use the Green Deal to make improvements such as loft insulation, solid wall insulation and replacement windows will qualify. The Green Deal Cashback Scheme is a first-come, first-served offer, and the more work households have done, the more cash back they could receive.

See full press release here.

£40 million for local energy bill blitz

The Government is putting local action at the heart of efforts to keep energy bills down and homes warm, with an £40 million competition aimed at driving local initiatives to boost energy efficiency, reduce fuel poverty and encourage collective switching and purchasing.

Energy Secretary Edward Davey said:

“With prices rising and temperatures dropping, we want to make sure we are doing all we can to help vulnerable householders keep warm this winter.

“This funding will put local councils at the heart of action to get energy bills down, for instance helping low income householders upgrade old inefficient heating systems and insulate draughty homes.

“As well as helping even more councils showcase the benefits of energy efficiency, this funding will support the launch of initiatives to enable local residents to save money by clubbing together to get a better energy deal.”

See full press release here.

As energy prices continue to climb this winter, we hope that these incentives will encourage even more families and businesses to make energy-saving changes to their buildings.

If you’d like any more information about the Green Deal, or about making your home or business more sustainable, contact us on 01454 317940.

Green Deal FAQs: answering your questions

What is the Green Deal?

The Green Deal (GD) forms part of the government’s Energy Act 2011, which intends to reduce carbon emissions cost-effectively across the UK. Essentially, the Green Deal enlists certified Green Deal Advisors (GDA) to identify areas within consumer homes where energy efficiency improvements can be made and paid for with no upfront cost. The improvements are carried out by certified Green Deal Installers (GDI) and the improvements reduce consumer energy bills. The cost of the Green Deal Installations is then added to your electricity bill payments. At the heart of the Green Deal is a simple rule that the estimated savings on energy bills will always equal or exceed the cost of the work.

Why do we need the Green Deal?

At a local level, the Green Deal will enable many households and businesses to improve the energy efficiency of their properties without consuming so much energy and wasting so much money. At a national level, the UK needs to become more energy efficient to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, which risk dangerous climate change, and meet its carbon reduction target by 2020 (34% reduction from 1990). Reducing demand for energy through eliminating waste cost-effectively is one of the best ways to reduce emissions. The Green Deal will deliver energy saving packages to millions of homes and businesses across the country, playing a key role in implementing energy efficiency measures nationwide. Consequently the scheme will provide opportunities for skilled and unskilled labour: from assessment to installation, manufacturing to supply, over the length and breadth of Britain for many years to come.

How do I schedule a Green Deal Assessment?

Obtaining a Green Deal Assessment is simple and available to all. The process for getting an assessment is as follows:

  1. Make contact with a Green Deal Advisor (www.greendealorb.co.uk);
  2. An approved Green Deal Advisor (GDA) undertakes an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) on your property, which outlines which energy saving measures will be available under the Green Deal;
  3. An occupancy assessment is completed, which addresses how you use energy within the dwelling;
  4. The EPC and occupancy data is then used to complete a Green Deal Assessment Report (GDAR), which is discussed with you by the GDA;
  5. You can then take the GDAR to a Green Deal Finance Provider who can agree finance for the measures you are looking to install in your property;
  6. An approved Green Deal Installer is commissioned to undertake the approved work;
  7. A new EPC is completed on the dwelling to illustrate the finished energy efficiency of the property.

How can the Green Deal benefit me?

The Green Deal will enable home and business owners to benefit from the installation of certain energy saving measures on their property with little or no upfront cost. This will improve the comfort within the property whilst reducing energy bills.

What measures are available under the Green Deal?

All measures available through the Green Deal have to meet the ‘golden rule’: the estimated savings on energy bills should always equal or exceed the cost of the work. Examples of measures that are available under the Green Deal are:

  • Solid Wall Insulation
  • Cavity Insulation
  • Loft Insulation

Some energy saving measures will not meet with this ‘golden rule’; however, they will be made available under the Green Deal with a small upfront investment from the property owner. Examples of these measures may be:

  • Solar PV
  • Double Glazed Windows
  • New Condensing Boilers

What happens if I move house before the repayments have been completed?

The finance agreement for the installed measures remains with the property electricity meter and not with the property owner, therefore the charge will remain and the new occupiers will continue to make the repayments through their energy bills.

Who is responsible for the repayments?

The repayments for any measures implemented under the Green Deal are made by the person who is responsible for the electricity bill. The repayments are made through the savings generated on the energy bills through the installed energy efficiency measures.

Can I choose what measures are installed on my house?

The Energy Performance Certificate will outline which measures are potentially available on the Green Deal through the Green and Orange ticks on page 3 of the certificate. You will then be able to decide on the measures you want to install and those you do not. The final set of installations and repayments will have been customised and approved by the property owner.

What is included in a Green Deal Assessment?

A Green Deal Assessment includes an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) at the beginning and end of the process and an occupancy assessment. These assessments enable the Green Deal Advisor to complete a Green Deal Assessment Report which is customised by the property owner and used to engage the services of a Green Deal Installer through the finance offered by a Green Deal Finance Provider.

What is ECO?

There are some cases where the ‘golden rule’ will not work but where there are strong policy reasons still to promote energy efficiency measures. The key mechanism to support in these cases will be a new Energy Company Obligation (ECO). ECO will be entirely focussed on:

  • The needs of the lower income and most vulnerable; and
  • Those properties needing the next most cost-effective measures that do not meet the ‘golden rule’ – for example, solid wall insulation.

ECO will not be like previous obligations with carbon goals able to be achieved across all households. From the outset, the targets will only be achieved within a certain householder group (lower income and vulnerable households where Green Deal is less likely to work) and/or with certain property types, such as those needing solid wall insulation.

Terminology

Green Deal Advisor

A qualified Green Deal Advisor is able to produce Green Deal Advice Reports by working with a Green Deal Advisor Certification organisation, once available. Initially, only Domestic Green Deal Advisors (DGDA) are being trained and qualified, with Non-Domestic Green Deal Advisors (NDGDAs) following shortly after.

Green Deal Advisor Organisation

These organisations have been successful in their application to a Green Deal Advisor Scheme for certified advisor status and registered with the GDOB. Green Deal Advisor Organisations are able to work with Green Deal Advisors to complete Green Deal Advice Reports.

Green Deal Installer

Green Deal Installers will be certified by organisations accredited by UKAS to work to the Green Deal Standard and have been registered (once available) with the Green Deal Advisory Body. Installers are responsible for the installation of the energy efficient measures recommended via the Green Deal Advisor and Advice Report, i.e. new boilers, loft insulation, solar panels, etc.

Green Deal Provider

These are the organisations that provide Green Deal finance.

Green Deal Assessment Report

GDARs are essentially an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) with an additional Occupancy Assessment (OA) and are produced by a qualified Green Deal Advisor and issued at the request of the building owner. Green Deal Advice Reports are an extension of the EPC and offer further information on energy efficiency measures that can be installed in a building to reduce energy costs, based on individual behavioural patterns.

Energy Performance Certificate

An EPC provides a rating for the energy performance of a home from A to G, where A is very efficient and G is very inefficient. The rating is based on factors such as age, property layout, construction, heating, lighting, and insulation. The ratings are standard so a home owner or tenant can compare the energy efficiency of one home easily with another. The typical rating for a home is D or E.

The Green Deal is here. Are you in?

After months of preparation, the Government’s Green Deal is now in operation. We’re proud to support a scheme that will benefit families and businesses, increase the energy efficiency of domestic and commercial properties in the UK and reduce carbon emissions.

At Darren Evans Assessments, we’re excited to be one of only a few currently certified Green Deal Advisor Organisations. We want to establish a country-wide network of Green Deal Advisors and Installers, making the scheme available to all UK customers. All Green Deal Advisors will need to work with a certified Green Deal Advisor Organisation to produce Green Deal Assessment Reports, so communication is key to making the Green Deal a success.

Will you join us?

If your company, like ours, is passionate about making sustainability work for more families and businesses, then come and partner with us. Whatever the size of your workforce, we’d love to hear from you.

If your customers could benefit from the Green Deal, or you’re interested in working under our banner, contact us now on 01454 317940, or email enquiries@darren-evans.co.uk.

The Green Deal is here. Be part of the UK’s energy efficiency revolution.