Green Deal had to change, but has Government made the right decision?

24/Jul/2015
Blog Author: 
Andy Flook

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I believe it's a huge error of judgement that Government has chosen to simply axe Green Deal financing with a complete disregard for the supply chain which has been working towards making Green Deal a success.

Let's just take a look at the industry which has been left reeling:

Green Deal Advisors: many installers, Domestic Energy Assessors and others have invested in training to become qualified GDAs to serve the assessment element of a process which, from today, is likely to have a significantly diminished demand. The process is still in place to complete assessments for ECO purposes, but just what will the demand be?

Green Deal Assessor Organisations: businesses who effectively run the networks of Green Deal Advisors across the UK have been an integral part of the supply chain and have undergone a rigorous approval process and ongoing auditing regime. With no Green Deal funding and cuts around renewable incentives looking imminent, I am struggling to see who will require a Green Deal Advice Report in future.

Green Deal Providers: many of the large scale businesses and a number of SMEs have gone through the whole systems and approval process to enable Green Deal approval, and have gone on to fully integrate with GDFC to enable access to the finance. It's now turned off.

Green Deal installers: thousands of businesses of all shapes and sizes have invested in quality management regimes to meet the requirements of PAS 2030 and have gone on to pay a certification body in order to gain approval. The standard also entitles a business to work in the ECO market, but that has a limited life.

Green Deal Certification Bodies: these organisations have invested hundreds of thousands of pounds to develop systems and software to demonstrate to UKAS and DCLG that they are able to assess installers and assessor organisations against Scheme standards to award GD status in the first place.

I could go on, but clearly, without a genuine alternative, it will be a testing time, and will inevitably result in many businesses ceasing to trade and a number of jobs being lost.

We should, however, maintain an element of positivity where possible. The 'pay as you save' concept is a good one, and with more innovative home improvement finance options coming to the market, and a full suite of products sat on the shelf which are ready to use and can show our customers the savings they can generate by investing in energy efficient measures, perhaps we need to consider taking control of our own destiny.

If you would like to discuss this further why not leave a comment below and we will get back to you. 

Comments

 

I imagine this comes from the 40% savings to be made from every government department (exceptions being NHS and MoD) that was announced this week. Firstly, I can't say I am surprised the government has finally pulled the plug on the Green Deal, it never fully committed to it from the beginning and because of that it was a complete headless shambles. As a DEA and then GDA I have watched the processess and consultations for the last 5 years and been astounded at the lack of leadership and common sense in regards to the Green Deal.
Their reason for cutting Green Deal funding is because of low take up, yet how does this explain cutting all funding for the separate GDHIF, which has had huge success for energy users and businesses. We are all once again, left wondering what the future holds for us, which is never a good position when you are talking about livelihoods.

 

Having seen this before after spending a small fortune on HI Training, and then getting flannel for answers at various pre-launch Green Deal seminars, I am totally unsurprised by this. This gov't is not committed to any kind of "eco-thinking" - it is all about the here and now. As a DEA I feel lucky there is still an EPC (thanks, Europe).

 

I have been in the industry as a DEA GDA since 2007
Having worked through CESP, ECO, GD and GDHIF nothing surprises me any more.
This announcement will cost thousands of jobs across the full spectrum of the industry. What is really annoys me, is that from the conception of the Green Deal everyone new that the Golden Rule did not work, there were major issues with the repayment and Loan system. I was on the early bird GDA programme, we told DECC and the GD Orb then that it was not workable unless you fudged it. Did anyone listen (NO) so Enter the cowboys.
The GDHIF scheme and the money spent on it has benefitted some homeowners, but yet again the vast majority of the money paid out by the GDHIF teams went to cowboy companies and scammers that got paid the full value of the voucher, only did one or two walls at the property and did not get the homeowner to pay their contribution. In GDHIF 2 and 3 thousands of 1 and 2 wall properties were done, with External Wall Insulation the client only paid £250. I sent evidence of malpractice to DECC and the GDHIF administrators, did anyone take action and try to stop these companies operating (NO) so this is where we find ourselves today.

 

Total disregard for people who have worked hard in the industry, I am out and will never trust or sign up for another government scheme, one or two things need to be made clear, if this was the government flagship where was the advertising, hardly anyone not involved in the industry knew anything about this scheme? Was this really down to a poor take up ratio-I think not, try looking at the cost issue especially for the new solar incentive! I really am disgusted, that there has been no warning, there is the cost we have all incurred for training , tools and technology,yet in one foul swoop, thats it no more work, I only bought a new ipad at the weekend added to that 4 g connection charges, thanks for nothing thats £500 down the drain.Im sure there must be more poor souls out there who may have bought new vans and heavy tools recently only to be cast to the side with little or no thought. I would think there are no eco jobs out there either. I am very angry and feel conned at least I will be getting some money back from the Torys albeit from the dole queue!

 

I started out training as a HI and the government said they would not make it mandatory but if the take up was not great enough, they would. THEY DID NOT
Then I trained as a DEA and the government said they needed 3000. SO THEY ALLOWED 12000 to be trained.
Then came HIPS and just as they started to work and were getting accepted THEY PULLED THE PLUG OVERNIGHT
Then the Green Deal, obviously a LIB DEM idea which was always going to have problems with such high interest rates. Too complicated and very few people outside the industry knew anything about it or understood it. PLUG PULLED OVERNIGHT
If they want 40% cuts then why not cut 40% of MPS
Who is brave enough to take them to court, perhaps as a group we could.
If they want to start getting things right then start talking the people (US) who are doing the work.

 

For the time being I presume GDAR's are still needed for RHI applications? But that won't generate enough work I presume for the GDAO's to keep going?

 

I am equally disgusted, for all the same reasons. I can't think of a single other industry that has been so thoroughly shafted by the government as the one we are all in.
One of the most disturbing things - for everybody, not just those in this industry - is that this Government have never got on board with the idea of energy efficiency. They have promoted the idea of bringing down energy bills by switching suppliers or taking the green tax off bills etc - but they have NOT promoted the idea of using less energy. A cynic might say that encouraging people to use less energy would not be in the interests of the big 6 energy companies, and this would not be in the interests of the current Government!

 

Hopeless. After being one of the first qualified HIs,then having Yvette Cooper say the word "voluntary" under ransom of the esteemed profession of estate agency and property conveyancers, then scrapeing a living for some years from epcs with free floor plans, then being priced out of the market by national "surveying" companies with £30 epcs that were never policed or audited credibly by the "accreditation" bodies, I left the industry. The upside is I haven't wasted further thousands on worthless qualifications and ridiculous self interested marketing. If still in, get out. The industry is a complete mockery and scam.Will Yvette Cooper get my vote to become leader of Labour..Have a guess.

 

My first comment explained that I have been in the industry since 2007 and I like many others spent my hard earned cash training as an HI I ran a successful company doing HIPS (Easyhips4u)all of which was wiped out overnight the day after the coalition government came in.
I have worked since 2012 for a flagship External Wall insulation company (SERS LTD)as operations / sales manager for the Green Deal Centre I and my team have very real concerns about our future. This latest fiasco from Amber Rudd will mean thousands of job losses and the announcement has been made so that nobody looks at the real reason the GDHIF money was spent so quickly. The government opened the scheme with no real audit checks that the homeowner was getting Insulation installed that would reduce their bills and carbon footprint. An application for GDHIF Funding could be made with just an EPC, what did the telephone sales companies do with no real knowledge of the insulation industry. They went onto the EPC register and phoned anyone with an EPC to tell them they can get them a voucher, they very often said that it was free insulation. The 50% rule was used to keep the area they insulated to less than the voucher value. The voucher value started at £6ooo and in the end dropped to £3750 this made no difference to the cowboys they just did less EWI on the house. I have sent the GDHIF Team, DECC and GD Orb evidence of a large end tce. property with just the front wall insulated.
There is a full evidence trail on these properties. The GDA who did the report is listed, the company that did the install is listed, the homeowner that claimed the full value of the voucher is listed, the contribution from the homeowner should have been at least £1250 but they only paid £250 for the survey costs as they were told the insulation to the wall would be free.
The government have scrapped it all overnight because they do not want to admit that they have cost the Taxpayer (that's you and me) Millions of pounds, because they failed to ensure a rigorous audit trail was in place for the scheme.
We must now take the hit for their incompetence.
In the early days of GD and GDHIF I wrote to them explaining that a proportion of the money set aside should be used to pay us the qualified professionals to carry out local audits across the country on these applications before a voucher was issued, did they listen of course not. who am I, I've only got 30 years experience in sales and marketing. Someone that can spot a scam potential a mile away.

Why don't the government try and claw back some of the money from these cowboy installers? they wont because it is easier for them to hide their mistakes by closing the scheme with a promise to do something at a later date. They hope this will mean the companies go bust and they will start afresh with companies reformed from they same cowboys.

 

Yet another kick in the teeth for the industry and everyone who has put in a lot of time, effort and money. I shouldn't really be surprised given the dreadful way successive governments have paid lip service to any energy efficiency schemes, not to mention Home Information Packs. The current ECO scheme provides so little financial incentive for installers, there isn't a great deal of work to be gained there. GDHIF provided an opportunity for some people requiring solid wall insulation to consider having it done and at least getting some money back for a relatively expensive measure. Not sure many people will now consider having this work done now. Unless all Accreditation Schemes and the industry as a whole band together to fight for our corner, there will be more people leaving the world of energy efficiency.

 

This was A Fall just waiting to happen. A clear, simple idea was allowed to build a head of steam and a delivery 'supply chain': without any rational limits; without much evidence of recent delivery; without research from robust precedent projects (like, say, a 15-year Evaluation and credible Review of the existing UK NHER/ Passivehaus Rated housing stock-base (and its real energy bills across UK climate zones); and without clear explanation of where the real Capital to fund improvement works was (really, honestly) going to come from. The Construction Sector then allowed this mini-bubble to continue to build despite a global bursting Property Finance bubble, in the hope it could protect workloads. I'm really sorry this has failed; but our Sector's PR teams would be better not gunning for the plug-pullers, and reflect more on how knowledge about simple improvements that measurably work became lost in the feeding frenzy the Policy Agenda created. Another lame 'financial instrument' failure; maybe?

 

No suprise really, after Home inspections/HCRs, HIPs, dumbing down of some DECs to 10 yrs, wide ranging non compliance of EPCs commercial and domestic without any enforcement, etc. I even got the non domestic GDA quality without any return from it whatsoever. Some years ago we made decision not to get the aircon inspection quals, and now the call for ESOS quals, another 1000 quid and even 250 quid to assess people if they have the entry quals (which they already have on record).
No, this is the total lock down now on any more investment in this industry, absolutely no new quals or software, and it wouldn't suprise me if EPCs eventually go the same way one day.

 

Dear All

I got my GDA certification yesterday !!!. I say to you all including all installers,Providers,GDAS,NDEA,DEA,
Home inspectors and anybody else involved in this market. March with a protest on Downing street and the houses of parliament as they open just after the summer recess.

At least if there is enough of us we can create some noise upset our so called democracy and let our feelings be known.

What do you think are you up for it?
NES as well could we organise such a mass that they would have to listen.

What do you think ?

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