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What Does the Green Deal Mean to Small Businesses ?

Posted on: 2012-06-06 10:44:42

Communication of the government’s Green Deal initiative, the biggest home energy improvement programme of modern times, has not exactly been a resounding success, so you could be forgiven if it has passed you by so far. But take notice, the government IS pressing ahead and it WILL launch in October this year. The target is to improve the energy efficiency of 14 million homes over 10 years and it is predicted that the supply chain could support 100,000 jobs within five years. This article describes how small businesses can stop the large conglomerates from dominating the market by working together to earn their fair share.

What is the Green Deal?

In a nutshell, under the Green Deal, bill-payers will be able to buy approved energy efficiency improvement measures for their property without having to pay anything up front up. Instead, capital will be made available by “providers”, which recoup their outlay, plus interest, via a charge on the property’s electricity bill. If the customer moves, the charge transfers to the new bill-payer. At the heart of the Green Deal offer is a “golden rule” that estimated savings on bills cannot exceed the cost of the work over the lifetime of the measure.

Britain has some of the oldest, draughtiest and poorly insulated building stock in Europe, leaking heat and wasting precious and expensive energy. A quarter of the UK’s carbon emissions come from the energy we use to heat our homes, and a similar amount from our businesses, industry and workplaces. So we all pay a high price for inefficient use of energy. The Green Deal will revolutionise the energy efficiency of properties, communities and, in due course, businesses by giving consumers an opportunity to make energy efficiency improvements that, otherwise, they may not be able to afford. Millions of owner-occupiers and tenants are set reap the rewards of better energy efficiency from Green Deal funded improvements.

When will the Green Deal Start?

The Green Deal scheme will start on 1st October 2012. Over this summer, secondary legislation and the accreditation and certification framework will be put in place. Savvy Green Deal participants, including Green Deal providers, assessors, and installers, are preparing NOW for the first wave of customers. The Government has pledged to kick-start the programme with a £200 million fund to provide cash-back incentives for these first Green Deal customers.

What Does the Green Deal Mean to Small Traders?

The Green Deal represents a significant opportunity for small enterprises in the energy performance improvement sector to secure new business. Retailers, installers, suppliers, assessors, trainers, and tradespeople will have access to a huge and growing market, with implications for jobs and skills along the supply chain – and across the whole country, with no regional bias.

The Government is very keen to ensure that small companies play an important role in the delivery of Green Deal energy improvement measures and share in the Green Deal market - two thirds of the construction workforce is employed by SMEs. The government are predicting that the supply chain could support 100,000 jobs within five years.

What Must Small Businesses Do?

First of all, sitting back and expecting business to come to you from this new market is not an option. This will simply let the big players “stitch up” the market with their financial “muscle” using their current preferred suppliers. Energy efficiency improvements made under the Green Deal must be delivered by qualified and accredited tradespeople. So the large companies are already gearing up by training their contractors and obtaining the necessary accreditation.

The way the marketplace, the Green Deal delivery process and the governance framework is structured, in order to represent persuasive and viable competition to the corporates, SMEs must band together. It is only via strategic alliances forged for each Green Deal improvement plan that small business will be able to provide a complete, and competitive, end-to-end service that discriminating householders will find compelling. So, in each region, there must be a pool of accredited participants, a consortium, from which appropriate teams can be put together to deliver each customised package of measures.

How Can I Access a Regional Green Deal Consortium?

Green Deal Consortia Ltd’, based at the Wigan Investment Centre, is setting up a network of regional consortia of Green Deal delivery specialists by coordinating and providing essential support services (e.g. government training funds, accreditation and quality management systems). Each regional consortium will support a pool of advisors, project managers, trainers, ancillary tradesmen and other essential participants. Significantly, each Consortium will have direct access to a pioneer Green Deal Provider, Yorkshire Energy Services, which will provide the essential Green Deal Financing Mechanism needed to deliver a whole house approach across each region.

What Requirements Must I Meet?

To become a regional consortium member you must:

·        Attend a Green Deal Overview to ensure a full understanding of the scheme - £50 a seat to cover overheads.

·        Subscribe to the Green Deal Manager to fast track your PAS 2030 certification (except support tradespeople).

·        Subscribe to the Consortium, priced according to activity, to access a complete support framework, tendering skills, Quality System, invoice management, Green Deal Provider link.

What’s in it for Me?

·        A viable foothold in the lucrative new market.

·        Access to Green Deal (and Energy Company Obligation) referrals.

·        Access to shared skills and experiences.

·        Back-up support from a leading industry Green Deal expert.

·        Up to date information on Green Deal, straight from Whitehall.

·        Opportunities to expand into other regional consortia.

So, if you are, or have designs to be, a retailer, installer, supplier, assessor, or ancillary tradesperson (e.g. painter, decorator, roofer, etc.) in the energy efficiency improvement sector, and want to secure your fair share of the emerging Green Deal market, apply NOW to become a consortium member by using the contact form: http://greendealconsortia.co.uk/contact-us.php.

If your market is in the East Midlands you should contact Alan Jackson by email or Skype (“the betterbusinessbureau”), who is establishing a consortium in this region and looking for a project delivery partner to co-ordinate each Green Deal plan.