With Green Deal Gone…What’s Next?
With the Government's recent announcements on Green Deal, Alex Krzesinski of YES Energy Solutions Ltd, a community interest company, offers some views on what might come next.
Since the doors closed on the Green Deal finance scheme in late July, many in the industry have questioned the Government’s green agenda. In this piece energy efficiency experts - YES Energy Solutions provide insight into the industry’s options.
The shock announcement by Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd, gave no real inkling to what would replace their flagship energy efficiency scheme.
Not only was the ‘pay as you save’ loan facility axed, but so was the popular cashback incentive - the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF). Many installers (especially in the solid wall industry) had geared up for another round of GDHIF, only to disappoint their customers.
Renewables has also taken a hit as the latest news reveals drastic cuts to the feed-in-tariff which could even result in the closure of the scheme in January 2016.
The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) seems to be the only mechanism left in place to support energy efficiency in the domestic sector. However, many Energy Companies have made significant headway in achieving their ECO2 targets which has reduced the amount and value of funding available in the market.
So what next?
One glimmer of hope may be the Bonfield Review.
The Government has commissioned Peter Bonfield, Chief Executive of BRE (the Building Research Establishment) to review the whole energy efficiency sector and propose recommendations for a new scheme to proceed Green Deal.
Bonfield explained that his proposals would “put the consumer first.”
He will look closely at standards, consumer protection and enforcement of energy efficiency schemes and ensure that the system properly protects consumers.
He said: “What I’m looking at first is what you can do to your home to improve energy efficiency, and what technologies can you use to bring down energy bills. I’m going from the outside in - let’s think about the consumer first.”
Bonfield aims to create a supply chain that is trusted and valued by consumers. He wants a new system “so people can trust the people who install these measures.”
However, the review will be no quick fix. A spokesperson from the Department of Energy and Climate Change indicated that Bonfield’s proposals won’t be published until March 2016. Some have already criticized the process and explained that delay and uncertainty will have a crippling impact on the industry.
However, Bonfield remains positive and has defended the Governments approach. He explained: “[They’re] really open and serious on this, and they really care about the consumer.”
He indicated that a pilot energy efficiency scheme could be launched within “two or three months”.
But what about the here and now?
ECO is still supporting installations up until March 2017. Obligated Energy Companies seem to have hit the ground running due to the fact that surplus measures from the ECO1 period will be carried over into ECO2 and go towards their new targets.
However, there is still a lot of work to be done and some campaigners have already approached the Government to consider extending ECO past the March 2017 deadline.
Local Authorities still have an opportunity to take advantage of ECO and establish their own initiatives – even on a smaller scale.
ECO is either delivered directly by Energy Companies or funding is assigned to Green Deal Providers (like YES Energy Solutions) as delivery contracts. Local Authorities can work with Green Deal Providers to implement targeted schemes.
In some circumstances Providers can get better funding rates from Energy Companies for projects that will guarantee carbon savings or fuel bill reductions in a specific timeframe. So Local Authorities that have done their homework and have identified areas that fit ECO criteria, are more likely to receive favourable funding.
ECO can be complicated as it is split into different strands. Those that are not as familiar with ECO can brush up on the terminology and find out how Local Authorities can benefit by downloading YES Energy Solutions ‘What is ECO and Green Deal Guide.’
YES Energy Solutions