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Where do sole traders & SMEs fit in the Green Deal?

Posted on: 2011-11-26 12:55:18

In the new Green Deal consultation document, the Government is keen for SMEs to benefit from the Green Deal market.  According to The Federation of Master Builders (FMB), small SME building and contractors carry out about half of all repair, maintenance, and improvement work, and employ over half of the construction workforce.

SMEs from all sectors with qualifying trades and measures will therefore have an important role to play in the delivery of the Green Deal.  SME builders are very often in direct contact with householders and are most familiar with individual properties, and are therefore well placed to advise householders on specific works that might be appropriate and to trigger Green Deal work.

The consultation is engaging with SMEs to share any examples of innovative operating models and ways of accessing finance that are already being proposed, including partnerships with larger organisations or local authorities, or by the creation of consortia of organisations.

The consultation document sets out the following potential business models to ensure installers have fair access to the market – whether they are sole traders, SMEs, or large organisations:

• A salaried employee of the Green Deal provider

• Sub-contracted on a per-job basis by a Green Deal provider

• An independent Green Deal installer commissioned directly by a consumer.

There are also 2 accreditation options for installers proposed within the document:

• Direct accreditation of individual installers - by asking installers to demonstrate they meet a Green Deal-specific standard

• Independent accreditation of existing trade certification bodies (rather than individual installers), who already certify their members to current standards, to a new Green Deal-specific standard.

Option 1 is considered to be the most burdensome and time consuming if every individual installer has to be accredited.  It is a costly option and would create a potential barrier to entry – particularly for SMEs.

The preferred is Option 2.  With around 35 certification bodies representing 900,000 installers, their trades are likely to be covered by the Green Deal.  This would significantly reduce red tape, timescales, and costs.  Once accredited, it would be the responsibility of certification bodies to ensure their members meet the Green Deal standard and Code of Practice.

PB Energy Solutions is providing help and advice for all organisations, SMEs and sole traders.  The next 6 – 9 months are crucial if you want to take advantage of the Green Deal opportunities from October 2012.

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Contacts us to discuss how we can help, our rates, and the route you must take: