December 2010 – Introduction of
the Energy Bill to Parliament
Pre- autumn 2011 – Industry consultation with officials to develop technical details for secondary legislation
Early autumn 2011 – Formal consultation on secondary legislation
Early 2012 - Secondary legislation laid before Parliament
Spring 2012 Detailed industry guidance prepared
Autumn 2012 – First ‘Green Deals’ appear
HOW WILL IT AFFECT CONSUMERS?
The expected financial savings must be equal to or greater than the costs attached to the energy bill, known as “the golden rule” of the ‘Green Deal’.
The measures must be approved and the claimed bill savings must be those accredited through this process.
The measures installed must have been recommended for that property by an accredited, objective adviser who has carried out an assessment.
The measures must be installed by an accredited installer.
For householders, the ‘Green Deal’ provider must give appropriate advice within the terms of the Consumer Credit Act and take account of the individual circumstances of the applicant.
The ‘Green Deal’ provider must have consent from the relevant parties, including the express consent of the current energy bill-payer.
The presence of a ‘Green Deal’ must be properly disclosed to subsequent billpayers (e.g. new owners or tenants) alongside energy performance information.
Energy suppliers must collect the ‘Green Deal’ charge and pass it on within the existing regulatory safeguards for collecting energy bill payments – including protections for vulnerable consumers.
HOW CAN SMEs ACCESS THE ‘GREEN DEAL’?
The Government has said it wants a competitive market for ‘Green Deal’ delivery which will allow new market entrants and quality delivery. It wants competition in all three customer facing roles in the chain – advisers, installers and providers. It is currently working on two models of delivery:
Model A: Customer acquisition by the ‘Green Deal’ provider
Under this model, companies with the appropriate capabilities, including High Street retailers, will promote the ‘Green Deal’ to consumers using their preferred market channels, enhanced by access to the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) database, and then arrange for the work to be done. Some ‘Green Deal’ providers are expected to offer an integrated service with in-house advisers and installers. Others will sub-contract with independent advisers and installers. The Government’s accreditation schemes are expected to help give ‘Green Deal’ providers the confidence to contract with independent organisations.
Model B: Customer acquisition by the installer
This model caters for householders and businesses are who having work done to their property by a plumber, electrician, builder etc. These households and businesses are thought to be more likely to listen to a recommendation from a trusted tradesman or contractor. Since the installer/contractor already needs to cause some disruption, the Government recognises that this is also a good opportunity for independent contractors/installers to offer a range of ‘Green Deal’ services. However, smaller firms often do have the same access to capital market funding as large firms, due to lacking the same funding trading record or back-office capabilities. Therefore, the Government is proposing that independent installers/contractors partner with larger firms who can supply finance for the ‘Green Deal’ plan. Alternatively, smaller providers will still be free to offer traditional forms of finance such as upfront payment or personal loans. However, this will not be a ‘Green Deal’ plan, even though consumers would still benefit from accredited advice and installation. The Government is arguing that the ‘Green Deal’ framework is flexible enough to enable installers to play this lead role, if large firms in their industry – such as builders’ merchants or specialist retailers – are prepared to become “umbrella” ‘Green Deal’ providers. The Government is now working with industry to help develop this model.
HOW IS FMB RESPONDING ON BEHALF OF ITS MEMBERS?
For more information please visit: www.fmb.org.uk