After my GGF meeting last Friday, it became clear that the process from start to finish on how the Green Deal works wasn’t totally understood. Luckily, they provided a stage by stage guide on how the homeowner starts off the process right to the final screw. I have included it below. There are a couple of stand out points which I think we should all be concerned with…

Stage 1: Homeowner contacts a Green Deal Assessor (either independently or through a Green Deal Provider) to assess the property and issue an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).

Stage 2: If assessed independently, the Homeowner then has to find a Green Deal Provider and agree a contract to undertake the responsibility for the work and to access Green Deal finance.

Stage 3: The Green Deal Provider would then send the fuel supplier (energy company) the property details of the Green Deal work to be undertaken so the energy company can prepare the billing.payment method.

Stage 4: The Green Deal Provider then offers a selection of suitable Green Deal Installers to the home owner.

Stage 5: Homeowner agrees with the Green Deal Provider which Green Deal Certified companies and products are to be installed.

Stage 6: Green Deal Provider then authorises the work to the chosen Certified Green Deal installers.

Stage 7: The Installer then arranges time and date with the Homeowner to measure up and then proceeds to carry out the work.

Stage 8: The work gets carried out and completed.

Stage 9: The job then gets registered with the Green Deal Oversight body.

Stage 10: Satisfied that the Green Deal work has been completed the Green Deal Provider then draws down the funding from the Energy Supplier and then pays the installer.

Stage 11: A new Energy Performance Certificate is issued to the customer.

My first point is this. More and more window manufacturers are applying to become Green Deal Providers. But as you see in the list above, customers are supposed to be contacting Green Deal Providers initially to start the whole process off. Traditionally, customers would go straight to the installer to start the chain off. This way totally bypasses the installers until it gets to the point of dishing out the work. I’m sorry, but this takes away control of the installation from the installer who, lets face it, is far more experienced in the selling, planning and implementing processes than a supplier is. Why shuffle it around like that?

Second, and probably the most important, is the way the installer gets paid. Stage ten explains that the Green Deal Provider draws down the funds from the Energy Supplier to then be able to pay the installer. We all know how epically slow these processes are. At the meeting I attended it was indicated that it could take up to six weeks for installers to get paid. This is just not going to work. It overruns the typical 30 day credit limit, manufacturers have to be paid, as do staff. Cash flow for SME’s would be absolutely crippled!

The GGF have been good enough to try and make this process as clear as possible, but I think even they would agree that there are certain parts in here which leaves the installers at a major disadvantage.