Green deal and ECO: government's next steps
Government has set out the framework and the timetable for its initiative to upgrade the energy efficiency of the nation's building stock.
The government’s green deal incentive scheme to support energy efficiency improvements to existing buildings is taking shape, and this week further elements were put into place. Government is setting down secondary legislation to establish the market framework for the green deal and its companion for vulnerable and hard-to-treat homes, the energy company obligation (ECO) and has published a string of documents on the scheme.
Following its consultation with industry, government has made a number of changes to the proposed green deal and ECO, notably adding £190 million to the latter in a carbon saving community obligation specifically targeted at providing insulation measures for low income households in rural areas. The government has also extended its definition of hard to treat homes eligible for insulation measures to now include cavity walled homes, as well as solid walled properties. It estimates that around 2.8 million hard to treat cavity wall properties could now potentially be eligible under ECO.
Other changes include:
- new rules requiring green deal assessors to declare any commission they might be receiving for carrying out an assessment and any ties to green deal providers
- an easing of requirements on businesses to hold warranties for the length of a green deal plan although the 25 year warranty for wall insulation remains.
In its progress report on the market framework, published this week, government says it will:
- this month sign a deal to put in place a green deal registration and oversight body (GD-ROB), to register assessors, installers and providers, report on green deal activity and act to protect the green deal quality mark brand
- lay secondary legislation before parliament this week appointing Ofgem as ECO administrator
- appoint a green deal ombudsman and investigation service function later this month
- look to procure the following: administration of the incentive scheme for green deal take up; a brokerage function for the ECO and management of a system allowing companies to demonstrate the specific energy saving benefits of their products for use in golden rule calculations.
In its document setting out the measures eligible for the green deal and ECO, government also says that district heating and voltage optimisation could be added to the list in the future. However, it says that whole property mechanical ventilation with heat recovery will initially be eligible for non-domestic buildings only.
This month is expected to see the publication of the green deal code of practice.
From August accredited certification bodies will be able to submit applications to register with GD-ROB. Certification bodies will in turn then be able to register those assessors and installers they have certified. Green deal providers will also be able to apply for their approval from August.
Legislation comes into force in January 2013, and this is when providers can formally enter into green deal plans.
Ofgem will publish ECO guidance in August and September. The regulations underpinning ECO will be in place from October.
In a written statement, Edward Davey, secretary of state for energy and climate change, said the green deal and ECO have, “the potential to support up to 60 000 jobs in the insulation sector alone, more than doubling the number of jobs in the sector, and making a real contribution to green growth”. Earlier this year government said £3.5 million would be dedicated to training up to 1,000 green deal insulation installers and 1,000 green deal assessors.
Davey added: “We will work with the insulation sector to explore the value of a second tranche of funding for training later in the year to help those moving from CERT and CESP and into related green deal installations. In addition to this, my department will continue to work with employers and the sector skills councils to ensure that the government's wider apprenticeship frameworks support not only the green deal, but also green and sustainable construction more generally”.