Yesterdays, press release from the FMB illustrates the frustation developing within Green Deal and hindering preparation for Green Deal and addressing the requirements of PAS 2030 and Code of Practice.
These are the same frustrations I hear from green deal related workshops I am engaged in, on one hand their is promise of work, the biggest home and property improvement programme since the 2nd world war, and on the other hand far too much confusion. The result is that many contractors and installers who do the scope of measures to be covered by Green Deal are just not engaging, playing the green deal or not green deal waiting game.
Danger, is of course that when green deal does go live there will not be many accredited (PAS 2030 etc) contractors and installers available
FMB Press Release reads:
The Government’s Green Deal initiative to makes our homes more energy efficient is in danger of failing at the first hurdle unless it provides a range of additional incentives to encourage householders to take it up, warns the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) in its response to the Government’s Green Deal consultation, which closes on Wednesday (18th January 2012).
Brian Berry, Director of External Affairs at the FMB said:
“With rising energy bills there is an urgent need to improve the energy efficiency of our housing stock as it is far less energy efficient than that of our European neighbours’. However, householders will need to be convinced of the value of retrofitting their home particularly when the price is having a new charge attached to their electricity bill. The quickest and easiest way to create consumer demand would be to reduce VAT on Green Deal improvements or reduce Stamp Duty.”
“Another concern is how local building companies will be able to access the Green Deal given that few, if any, will become recognized Green Deal Providers because of the onerous conditions attached to providing the finance packages. This is a lost opportunity as it is the local builder who is best placed to advise householders about energy efficient improvements when they are carrying out other home improvements or repairs.
“The Government has rightly tacked the need to eliminate rogue traders by insisting on the need to have Green Deal accredited installers. Local builders already have many of the key skills in place to carry out energy efficiency improvements but now they need an operational accreditation framework that enables them to demonstrate their skills and knowledge at the standard required. The Government’s delay in approving recognised competency schemes is not helpful and swift action is needed if the building industry is going to be ready for the launch in October. We know that the Green Deal has the potential to create some 65,000 new construction jobs which is why it is so important that we have the training courses ready at the earliest possible opportunity.”
“We want the Green Deal to be a success but it won’t be unless the Government considers seriously the need to introduce fiscal incentives for homeowners, creates a level playing field to enable local building companies to access the market, and ensures that training courses are quickly approved to accredit local builders.”
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It does seem like there are many hurdles to clear before October but the over riding issue should not be lost, that this incentive can produce jobs and reduce our carbon output. Both of which are vital for the country and even the planet. The Green Deal, if successful, will have lasting effects way beyond my lifetime and that of future generations.
I agree with the article, there needs to be clear messaging to small business on what it is to be Green Deal registered and what they can expect, some regulation and accreditation is a definite benefit, but not at the expense of the qualified and experienced small business getting access. I think the scheme will see a surge of registrants toward the end of the year when what is required becomes more clear and as businesses put their systems in place, causing a bottle neck in approvals. In terms of Green Deal Providers, it seems there are about 100+ aspirant providers now, but with only 2 currently approved we have to hope that the community schemes and independent GDP’s get the support they need to have everything in place for the full launch on 28th January 2013.