"Our clients are the ones paying our salaries – so how do they see us? Terry Wardle takes a look at how the work of Green Deal Advisers
is being reviewed in the media." --> A good blog (eventhough he describes me as "probably.... the client from hell"!
An interesting quote from a journalist on allowing a Green Deal Advisor in her home:
‘A complete stranger is in my house asking me intimate details about my family’s showering and cooking habits and how many times we use the washing machine. She has even made a rough sketch of our bedroom. Pointing a laser beam at each external wall to gauge room dimensions, she casually asks if I put lids on the saucepans when I boil my vegetables. Who is this nosy individual I have let into my home?’
I don't touch much on the intrusion part in my blog below, as I had expected such occupant questions, but the above quote made me realise that it will take many people by surprise indeed and not all may feel comfortable about it or wonder why an assessor needs to know this.
Terry also wrote a blog on the role of Green Deal Assessors - still pretty much up to date. As per Linn Rafferty's comment: "Assessor is the term used by the GD Oversight and registration body (GD-ORB, run by Gemserv) to mean the organisation providing the GD Advice Service (GDAS). Advisor is the human being who passed the GDA qualification, and actually visits the customer and provides the assessment and advice. So your visit was delivered by an Advisor working with an Assessor."
On another note, I received (in my spam folder) an email from the BRE asking for feedback on the EPC assessment as this is registered with them. The survey asked a handful of general questions about the Adviser's conduct (did they show their badge upon entering; did they gain access everywhere etc). Ofcourse this separate email about the EPC feedback is likely to confuse the occupant who gets the EPC as a by-product of the Green Deal Assessment. I have relayed this feedback to the BRE.
Today I received this comment from Katherine. I have posted it in its entirety. This is indeed worrying.
I work for an installer - and I just thought to add a little from our side of things may be informative (though not actually helpful!). We have houses ready for funding, but no providers want to give full funding. We specifically targeted areas that were ECO eligible - you can look up the eligible areas, then search your postcode to see if it is in a "vulnerable" area. This should achieve 100% funding for Solid Wall Insulation - as it is by definition a "hard to treat" measure. However, when it comes down to the nitty gritty, the providers are constantly changing the goal posts. We are now told a property needs to be solid fuel AND solid wall - and even then may not achieve full funding. Personally, I can not see the point of ECO if they are not intending to use it for its purposes - to help the vulnerable insulate their homes. They are trying to "force" people into having Green Deal finance to top up the ECO grants. There is no mention of fuel types determining the eligibility for ECO, it just ticks more boxes and gives a bigger saving than a house on mains gas - but this is not why ECO was set up. Sorry, now I'm just rambling. Back to my point, even now, the providers are reluctant to give us even an idea of funding - so we are left not really knowing what to tell people, other than be patient, we are trying to get them the best deal we can. But I think you may have more luck with a smaller, local installer that has access to funding via providers. Though as you say, there is no easy way to find these. Very best of luck to you though."
Added 4pm 15/04:
It appears that providers are trying to look for the 'lowest hanging ECO fruits', i.e. the interventions giving the greatest carbon reductions for least amount of effort/money, which is indeed the Solid Walled (SW) and solid fuelled dwellings (and where many properties in one go can be treated). However, it is problematic if this is at the expense of ECO-funding properties that are SW and in vulnerable areas, simply because they are not solid fuelled. This will presumably cut out much or all of greater London properties, despite 30% being classified as SW properties, due to the smoke control zone and lack of solid fuelled properties,...Equally individual dwellings may not be able to access ECO-funding for several months or years until the low-hanging fruits are harvested first.
It seems that individual householders may find it difficult - or impossible to access ECO funding, despite 'in theory' their properties qualifying. Unable to get access to the top-up funding required to undertake solid wall insulation to meet the Green Deal's Golden Rule, presumably means that they cannot undertake this Green Deal measure unless they are able to afford the difference. If this is the way things are going; ECO-funding might have been mis-advertised and householders might have been deceived.
So, about one month on from sending out 40 queries to providers, I still have not received any finance plan; I have no idea what the costs would be for the approved Green Deal measures, nor what (if any) ECO funding is available, nor what cash-back incentive may apply - let alone have I had any measures installed. This is somewhat frustrating - to say the least.
I do wonder whether less engaged and motivated occupants may give up at this stage; the hassle factor is significantly increased having had an assessment done and then not being able to obtain any other information or having works done. If I had paid for the assessment and then being unable to proceed or knowing when I might be able to follow up on its recommendations, I would have felt I just wasted the assessment fee.
Admittedly this lack of progress does not exactly instill confidence in the whole Green Deal process. A brief update below:
A few other things to update on/clarify, thanks to twitter and LinkedIn discussions and people leaving comments:
This is Sofie's blog; or rather a collection of musings & articles sometimes also published elsewhere. More about Sofie here.