Minister of State Greg Barker has revealed measures to help smaller installers compete in the green deal market, and reinforced the coalition government’s commitment to launching the scheme this autumn.
It was standing room only as Greg Barker delivered his keynote speech on the opening day of Ecobuild 2012. Crowds of exhibition attendees gathered to hear the Department of Energy & Climate Change’s take on the upcoming incentive, which will allow homeowners to make improvements to the energy efficiency of their home with no upfront costs.
Barker faced tough questioning from the audience, who were understandably sceptical following the handling of the feed-in tariff cuts. He insisted that the scheme would launch in autumn as planned, and announced a number of measures aimed at making it easier for smaller installers to become green deal suppliers.
Installers will no longer be required to submit a surety bond before becoming accredited. And the launch of a green deal ombudsman removes the obligation to arrange independent arbitration for disputes with customers.
Barker was keen to stress that the scheme was ‘truly new’ and unlike other energy efficiency incentives that have gone before it. Instead, he likened the green deal to the Housing Act of 1980, which gave council house tenants the right to buy the home they lived in from their local authority. He described the progamme as ‘aspirational’, in that it taps into the British desire for home improvement, even in times of austerity.
‘It’s about putting consumers centre stage, and giving people the opportunity to invest in their homes – something that is part of the British DNA.’
Greg Barker MP