The more you look at the Green Deal, the more you realise that small window companies (which make up a lot of our industry) are going to struggle to be able to take advantage of it. But first, some clarity on what the Green Deal is and how it is going to work:

According to the GGF: Green Deal is the Coalition Government’s flagship policy for improving the energy efficiency of existing buildings in Great Britain. It is a new market framework and is based on a key principle that the cost of some energy efficiency measures pay for themselves, in effect, through the resulting savings on fuel bills.

Green Deal Finance: Green Deal finance will not be a personal loan on the householder or building owner but will in fact be a debt held on the property. Future owners of the property will take on the remaining elements of the Green Deal until payment is complete.

To be part of the scheme, you have to register to become a Green Deal Provider. To become a Provider you will be subject to strict assessments apparently. As a Provider, you will be responsible for providing the finance. Here’s where it becomes a little bit more difficult for the really small companies. Providers will be responsible for carrying out an energy assessment on the property. The assessment will identify what measures the homeowner needs to take to improve the energy efficiency of their home. Also, the Provider must also then carry out another assessment to judge how well the measures that have been taken are doing, and provide feedback. 

The Green Deal loans will be re-paid by the homeowner via the respective energy bills. Crucially, if that homeowner moves, the loan stays with the house, not with the tenants. So the new home owners will have to pick up that bill. 

The Golden Rule: Above all, the expected savings to be made on any Green Deal project must be greater than the cost of the work done.

Big multi-national companies such as B & Q, Marks and Spencer and British Gas have been mentioned as possible Green Deal Providers. We already know that Tesco has positioned itself ready to take advantage of the deal when it comes to pass. 

I have two concerns regarding the deal. Firstly, with all the massive companies being mentioned as being possible providers, is there going to be any room for the small guys in our industry. In comparison, even the large companies within this industry would be dwarfed by the other companies mentioned above. The GGF has worked hard to include windows in the Green Deal, the worst thing that could happen is for companies like Tesco to go a steal all the business.

My second worry is that the amount of checks, assessments, tests, and all the other extra work involved in being a Provider will be far too much for the smaller companies to cope with. For the larger businesses with the staff and financial backup, this won’t be a problem. But if the WHOLE industry is to benefit from the deal, then our large organisations, the GGF and FENSA need to have plans in place to make sure that everyone gets a piece of the pie.

The plan isn’t due for another year. So I hope that plans for everyone will be announced and explained well before October 2012 so that everyone can ready themselves for what should be a significant boost for our sector.