By Andrew Eagles, Sustainable Homes As part of the Energy Security and Green Economy Bill, Chris Huhne has recently announced that the Green Deal...

By Andrew Eagles, Sustainable Homes

As part of the Energy Security and Green Economy Bill, Chris Huhne has recently announced that the Green Deal would create up to 100,000 new green jobs by 2015  as the lead part of Government’s efforts to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of Britian’s buildings. So what exactly is the Green Deal, how will it work and how will it affect you?

What is the Green Deal?

The Green Deal is a new Government scheme designed to improve the energy efficiency of buildings in the UK, with no upfront cost to homes and businesses. Cash for the retrofit work will be borrowed from private companies and repaid by occupants through subsequent savings in energy bills.

How will the Green Deal work?

From autumn 2012, households and businesses will be able to receive an independent survey and advice on energy reduction measures tailored to their property.

The ‘golden rule’ will then be applied: if the suggested improvements will lead to savings in energy bills that exceed the cost of paying for the retrofit, up to £6,500 per building will be made accessible through an accredited funding provider.  This will pay for qualified contractors to install government approved measures, leading to immediate benefits for occupants.

The scheme will finance the retrofit of energy efficiency works such as installing insulation and double glazing, with solutions specific to individual buildings. It will not cover microgeneration installations such as solar panels or heat pumps. The loan will be repaid over a period of up to 25 years, through a charge on the building’s energy meter.

What are the benefits for occupants?

All 26 million British homes and many businesses could benefit from the scheme – the most inefficient households could reduce their bills by up to £550 per year.

By removing the upfront costs of retrofitting, the Green Deal will encourage landlords to improve the performance of their buildings. Tenants will be entitled to request and receive reasonable energy efficiency measures for their homes under the Energy Bill from 2015.

How will it affect the ‘green’ industry?

According to Chris Huhne, Energy and Climate Change Secretary, the Green Deal will create up to 100,000 new jobs including accredited energy advisors and insulation installers.

Home Energy Advisors

One of the key elements of the Green Deal is likely to be the provision of in-home energy advice to residents. Home Energy Advisors will be required to identify opportunities for reducing energy use by encouraging changes in occupant behaviour as well recommending improvements to the building fabric.

Sustainable Homes works with organisations to provide home energy advice and is currently developing the new Home Energy Advisor qualification which will be accredited by ABBE.

Domestic Energy Assessors and Home Inspectors will have many of the skills required for the Home Energy Advice role and will be eligible to attend shorter training courses.

What about renewable technologies?

Government aims to incentivise low carbon electricity and heat production through Feed-in-tariffs (FITs) and the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

Further reading:

Home Energy Advisor Training

The Energy Bill and Government briefs on the Green Deal

Editor’s note: This article was written by Andrew Eagles of Sustainable Homes. The piece originally appeared in the Sustainable Homes blog and the company is a leading training and advisory consultancy operating in the field of sustainable housing. They can also help your organisation to formulate and implement its approach to sustainability, whether it be the development of a sustainability strategy or the undertaking of specific initiatives, such as engagement with residents on sustainability issues.


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