FMB consults on Government Green Deal

Builders organisation the Federation of Master Builders has met with the Government to discuss the implementation of the Green Deal retrofit initiative which will be launched in the autumn of 2012.

Dan Monzani, deputy director of Green Deal Legislation and Finance within the Department of Energy and Climate Change, explained that the Green Deal is a new framework that will allow householders and businesses to invest in energy efficient measures at no upfront costs which will be paid through increased energy savings.

The so called ‘Golden Rule’ is that the property owner won’t be able to attach a cost to the property unless the savings of the energy efficient installation is greater than the cost.

However, the details of the actual delivery particularly in relation to how SMEs will access the finance are still being discussed and developed in a policy process that was described as ‘co-creation’.

Other speakers including Andrew Warren, director of the Conservation of Energy and Dr Louise Strong , senior policy adviser at the CBI, argued the need to create demand in the market for retrofit work including incentives to get the market moving and that the Government needed to be taking a more active role to achieve this.

Concern was also expressed about the complexity of the ‘customer journey’ and whether or not the role of the energy assessor of the property should be independent from the installer to avoid any possible conflicts of interests.

However, Matilda Quiney, head of green deal at British Gas, argued that a range of models would be required and that most customers would not be willing to pay for independent advice. Instead, she argued that energy assessors in an integrated supply chain could operate in the same way as financial providers tied to financial providers give advice.

In summary, all agreed with Peter Aldous MP, Member of the Environmental Audit Select Committee, that the Green Deal whilst being complex and challenging has the potential to be offer great rewards in terms of job creation, reducing carbon emissions and addressing the energy security problems that the UK is facing.

The FMB is sitting on two of the Government’s forums: the ‘Green Deal Capacity and Innovation Forum’ chaired by Paul Morrell, Chief Construction Adviser, and the ‘Green Deal Installer Qualification and Accreditation Forum’ chaired by David Strong.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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