Preparing to deliver the Green Deal

Green Deal

Climate Change Minister Greg Barker has launched a partnership to ensure the UK has the right skills to implement the Green Deal, the Government’s flagship policy to improve the energy efficiency of buildings. The Green Deal aims to enable private firms to offer consumers energy improvements to their homes, communities and businesses at no upfront cost and recoup payments as a change in instalments on the energy bill.

The Green Deal Skills Alliance (GDSA) is working to create new training and accreditation for the energy assessment, advice and installation workforce — the people who will carry out the improvements. The GDSA is made up of three Sector Skills Councils — Asset Skills, Construction Skills and SummitSkills.

During the consultation on the Green Deal by the Department of Energy & Climate Change, which closed on 18 January, concerns were expressed about ensuring its effectiveness.

The Royal Institute for British Architects raised concerns that significant obstacles need to be resolved for the scheme to work in practice. In its response to the consultation, RIBA stressed the need for an integrated approach to the installation of energy-efficiency measures, which will require Green Deal project managers.

RIBA also believes that Green Deal funding must be delivered in ways to maximise initial take-up and that create solutions to incentivise long-term take-up. The institute also stresses the need for performance targets and monitoring, particularly around carbon emissions, to ensure it delivers.

Although welcoming the Green Deal, the British Property Federation has warned that on its own it is unlikely to deliver the revolution in energy efficiency that will be needed for the UK to meet its emissions targets. The federation has urged the Government to bolster the Green Deal by providing additional fiscal incentives to help make the scheme more attractive and to sanction a roll-out of Display Energy Certificates. It has also called for greater clarity on how the energy-efficiency regulations in privately rented property, which are to be brought in from 2016 and 2018, will work.

Liz Peace, chief executive of the British Property Federation, said, ‘It is clear that in non-domestic buildings, the Green Deal will not result in the level of change required by 2050. Additional fiscal incentives may be required to attract both owners and occupiers to participate amongst competing commercial and legal issues.

‘If fiscal incentives are the carrot, then Government must also clarify its stick approach by giving greater detail on the introduction of minimum standards as soon as possible to give the industry sufficient time to gear up, with a clear idea of the Government’s intentions going forward.’

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