The DECC Green Deal team have kindly been in touch after spotting my tweets and blog. I have agreed to put feedback together from a GD occupant perspective and they have generously invited me to meet with them next week. (So any other occupants out there, feel free to contact me about the good and the bad)
DECC stated that: " … we have been doing all we can to work with Green deal Providers to help them enter the market as quickly as possible. The Green Deal is a market based mechanism. Whilst Government is responsible for putting in place the legislative and supporting frameworks to enable delivery, we are reliant on the private sector to come forward and offer green deal assessments, Plans and measures to consumers."
The letter goes on to state that : "There are 48 companies registered as Green deal Providers and The Green Deal Finance Company stands ready to provide finance to them. Of these 48 companies, some are more advanced than others in terms of their own systems and readiness to deliver."
Of the 40 providers I contacted, around 55-60% responded. Of those who may offer individual households finance, they said that the software is not yet ready.
The good news however is that DECC state that " .. we are aware that some companies are already offering ECO funding to support the option of solid wall insulation in individual households". This is good news, and DECC have - with my agreement- passed on my details to 2 companies, "who should be in touch shortly".
Interestingly, I have also been contacted by another occupant, who is trying to find a Green Deal installer with ECO access, (no need for finance) and he has been unable to find someone too. He works in the building industry so he has been trying to use his insider knowledge and contacts to negotiate and find willing 'ECO' installers. This process is obviously not repeatable for those outside the industry, and just adds to uptake barriers and hassle.
Finally, the DECC letter also says that ESAS (Energy saving advice Service 0300 123 1234) is:"...currently in the process of updating its advice to better reflect the status of different Providers and readiness to go to the market. ESAS is therefore the referral menchanism for those seeking a provider…".
However, I did contact ESAS in April, before the DECC letter arrived and all they could do was take my details so DECC can give me a list of Providers who are ready as they do not have that list. They told me it would take 7-10 days to hear back with this information. So far, I have had more luck with direct DECC contact as I have not heard anything yet, though this is rather an unusual route and not really what I am meant to do.
ESAS also told me (incorrectly) that all ECO-funding is means-tested and
"only for people on certain benefits". When I read out a phrase from their own leaflet and Ofgem's website to contest this statement, ESAS then read out a standard statement stating the 3 parts of ECO (i.e. ECO Affordable Warmth; ECO Carbon Saving and ECO Carbon Saving Communities), to then agree that for ECO Carbon Saving, residents do not need to be on benefits to be eligible. Let's hope that this misinformation is due to early teething-problems, but I pointed out that it is crucial that ESAS give correct and consistent information to the consumer, particularly as in the information leaflet provided by the Green Deal Advisor it clearly directs consumers to them for advice on ECO-eligibility.
I have also received a request from DECC for feedback via an online survey ( and £10 voucher to encourage me to do so). It is a long and detailed survey, but - if returned en masse by Green Deal occupants - will give insights to motivations for the Green Deal, assessment experience and identification of uptake barriers of approved measures. It is hoped that each occupant will fill this in as it will be useful feedback.
This is Sofie's blog; or rather a collection of musings & articles sometimes also published elsewhere. More about Sofie here.