Clearview South January 2014 - Issue 146 - Page 49

ENERGYEFFICIENCY STREAMLINING AND IMPROVING THE GREEN DEAL The Green Deal, which is designed to work alongside the Energy Company Obligation to make Britain’s homes more energy efficient, will be streamlined and improved to boost take up of energy efficiency measures. These proposed changes are part of the Government’s action to help hardworking people with their energy bills, announced by the Department of Energy and Climate Change on 2nd December 2013. ‘Giving consumers more choice in future’ “The Green Deal is an initiative for the long term. And these are early days. It will need to adapt as the energy services market develops, and as consumer attitudes to energy efficiency change. We are talking to industry about their early experiences over the last ten months, and researching how consumers are finding the Green Deal. “There are also opportunities to cut costs for the supply chain, while still ensuring that consumers are properly protected and can rely on work done under the Green Deal Quality Mark. “So the market is already seeing simpler documentation available from the Green Deal Finance Company (GDFC), for example. And by speeding up the processes through which Green Deal Providers are approved, then giving those companies more support once they are approved, we will help them to become active quickly, giving consumers more choice in future.” Starting from January and then over the following months: The Green Deal will be made easier for consumers by: • The introduction of a new on-line tool that will give consumers straightforward advice on the steps they can take to improve the energy efficiency of their homes, and how they can get help. • The improvement of the Green Deal Advice Report that gives householders important information on what an assessment is telling them. The Report will be clearer and easier to understand, and better signpost the range of Government support available. • Giving consumers better signposting to the companies that can provide the services they want, both through the Energy Saving Advice Service and the GOV.UK website. • The Green Deal will be made easier for the companies operating in the market by: • Opening up access to Energy Performance Certificate data, so that companies can more easily identify properties that will benefit most from energy efficiency improvements. • Adding more measures to the list of those that can be supported under the Green Deal, and allowing more flexibility over the exact specification to which companies install. • Working with industry to find ways to reduce the cost of insurance requirements attached to Green Deal measures. Government must make bolder changes to Green Deal The Government needs to take bolder measures to boost the Green Deal. Including slashing VAT on renovation and repair work and funding a high-profile communications campaign to market the scheme to the general public, said the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) as the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) announced changes aimed at streamlining and simplifying its underperforming energyefficiency scheme. Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “It is clear from ѡ