Which? held a live Q & A session with Secretary of State for energy Ed Davey earlier on today (13th September), and there were some quality questions posed by readers. Some were relevant to windows, some weren’t. But seen as though the main question over recent weeks is whether the scheme is actually going to happen or not, there was only one question I was interested in…well, two really:

Comment From Peter Bates:

Can you tell me when the Green Deal will actually start. I understand that Green Deal Advisors can start surveying houses from the 1 October 2012 in order to produce a Green Deal Advice Report. But, it seems that not all the certification and accreditation procedures are in place to enable any Green Deal Advisor to start on 1 October. Also I have been told by the Green Deal Helpline (ORB) that ECO will not start on the 1 Oct either. Can you clarify the situation? I understand that Green Deal Finance will be available from 28 Jan 2013 – but ECO from 1 Oct 2012.


Comment From Rob Warren  

Is it possible for customers to have Green Deal work carried out from October and then start paying back through their electricity bill from January 2013, or is only the Green Deal Assessment possible during this time?

Even if the Green Deal is to start on the first of next month, people still aren’t clear on how much of the scheme will be live and what actual work, if any at all, can be done. So here is Ed Davey’s response:

Hi Peter and Rob – Green deal is starting from the 1st October – but not every element of the green deal, as we want to introduce it gradually, to test out some of the key elements of the system. Essentially, most aspects of the green deal will start on 1st October – but the green deal finance plans can only be signed from 28th January next year. So, people have already started the process of certification – with over 80 green deal providers having begun that. Assessments can start from 1st October and our advice line will be available then to give people impartial advice. In the last months of this year, there’s a lot of activity around existing energy efficiency schemes like CERT and CESP, and ECO will be starting soon, and we plan that energy firms will be able to score against their ECO obligations for any work done from 1st October. Rob – that’s not possible – under the green deal legislation, you have to enter the plan before the work is done. So green deal assessments leading to work before 28th January will be financed in other ways – for example through the schemes above or via other schemes such as that being run by Birmingham.

So, according to Ed Davey, Green Deal WILL go live at the start of October and the process of paper work can start from then – but no actual work can begin until next year. Finance for projects won’t even be made available until the end of January 2013! Therefore begging the question: what’s the point?

Homeowners will surely not be interested in starting a process to upgrade their home’s efficiency which is going to takes months to complete. Wouldn’t it be better to make Green Deal live when 100% of the structure is ready and complete? That way it doesn’t appear rushed and those companies taking part in the scheme are fully armed with all the right info and credibility?

I would be interested in the GGF’s position on this as they have done a lot of hard work and lobbying of the Government to make sure double glazing has it’s place in this scheme.