An update is long overdue. In the past 12 weeks I have met with DECC and have had 3 installers over the floor (one of them 3 times even) and received one quote with an idea of ECO-funding available and am due to receive another this week. I will cover all of this in a separate blog update, hopefully early next week.
Firstly to keep you updated on my meeting with DECC:
The DECC Green Deal Team were genuinely interested in my experience as a consumer. I was impressed how the team knew the policy backward and forward and really took their time to listen and answer questions. They clearly have put a lot of work in.
We went through the main points - as also raised in my earlier blogs and summarised below.
One of the main points of discussion was that the Green deal is a market based policy: it is up to the installers to decide how the market should work and how they respond to consumer demand.
For example, if an installer demands to undertake a new GDAR, not accepting the existing one, or is slow to respond and cannot offer ECO-funding or any other competitive advantage, they obviously increase the hassle factor and may not attract consumers.
The DECC team made it clear the GDAR is meant to be portable, but that some companies are taking a different approach to this and interpreting issues of liabilities differently. Linn Rafferty also discusses this here.
However, I have since also come to understand another reason why installers undertake a new GDAR: to determine ECO-funding related to the energy provider they are teamed up with. The standard GDAR done for me in March does not indicate any level of ECO-funding that may be available. It seems that installers working with EON as provider have to do a GDAR linked to their provider's system as this will then automatically tell them what ECO-funding this attracts. I will however come back to this in a follow-on blog once I get a second quote in, hopefully this week. DECC are also aware that the software tool is not ideal to predict energy savings pre-and post retrofit, but that this is an implication due to the EPC linking
DECC also said that while each provider may be looking to provide ECO funding to the ‘lowest hanging fruit’ first; i.e. large housing schemes and electrically heated properties; at one point they will need to move onto individual households and more difficult to retrofit properties due to the nature of the ECO policy/carbon reduction obligations, which is in place until Spring 2015.
It also means that each provider has its own strategy and therefore level of ECO-funding they offer, based on their business strategy. This is reflected by the different ECO-funding available depending on who is the installer/provider. It may also explain the ever-changing nature of what providers may offer, depending on how close the 2015 date approaches and in how far obligations have already been met or not.
With regards to the EST Green Deal helpline ESAS and their rather wrongful and unhelpful advise when I called them, DECC said that they previously had made cold calls to quality check the information going out and said they might do it again.
DECC were also particularly interested in the answers given by some of the installers/providers and made it clear that all systems are in place, but that companies seem to blame government if companies are delayed in offering finance.
The Green Deal team were also keen to make the consumer process smoother; we discussed my suggestion for automatic linking or upload of the GDAR and an easier, partly automated system to send emails out to potential providers rather than contacting each one separately.
I agreed to keep them posted on progress and I have been in touch with them on an on-going basis.
Summary of issues I brought to DECC:
This is Sofie's blog; or rather a collection of musings & articles sometimes also published elsewhere. More about Sofie here.