VELUX has warned that if the Green Deal fails to win the confidence of consumers it could be a ‘kick in the teeth’ for the wider energy efficiency retrofit market.
Speaking as a panellist at the Green Deal Dialogue fringe event at the Liberal Democrat party conference this week alongside the Minister for Energy and Climate Change, Edward Davey, VELUX Design Manager Paul Hicks said it was imperative that energy efficiency measures reaped the rewards homeowners expected. He also called for assurances that the ‘Golden Rule’ – which requires that the cost of any energy efficiency measure must be equal to or less than the expected saving – is properly applied.
Hicks added: “It is important that the Green Deal considers how multiple energy efficiency measures will integrate and also how the maintenance of these measures will be paid for.”
Davey said the Government had moved to address some of these issues through training, accreditation and the creation of the Green Deal ombudsman: “We have also made adjustments to a product’s performance by considering a variety of in-use factors that can affect the way they operate. Assessors will be required to look at a property as well as its occupancy. Through the gradual roll-out of the scheme we can make sure we get it right and help to build confidence in the Green Deal.”
The panel, which also included MP Simon Wright and Deputy CEO of The Glass and Glazing Federation Giles Wilson, also agreed that the industry needed to be convinced of the benefits of becoming Green Deal accredited and the opportunities available to SMEs to get involved in the process. Support from local authorities and a push on take up of the scheme by entire roads rather than individual properties were discussed as ways of reassuring SMEs of demand.
All of the contributors agreed that the Green Deal will significantly benefit homeowners and businesses if applied correctly but Davey acknowledged that Government still need to “dot the Is and cross the Ts.”
The Green Deal Dialogue is a group created to gauge response to the Green Deal. Hosted by Dods its partners include VELUX, Land Securities and the Glass and Glazing Federation. The fringe event follows the publication of ‘The best Green Deal for all’, a summary of the group’s regional round tables, business summit and MP research. You can see the findings here: http://bit.ly/UPd2Oj