The Green Deal officially launches today, as the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) also begins a three-month engagement campaign to raise awareness on the programme. This £2.9 million campaign – an exemption to the Government marketing freeze – will use digital and traditional channels to drive public awareness and trust of the Green Deal. This attention to driving demand for the scheme is well timed as a recent poll indicates 81 per cent of UK energy customers have not heard of the Green Deal.
Marketing is one tool being employed by DECC to facilitate work under the programme, alongside other measures such as the recent removal of a household cashback cap and the establishment of an Open Homes Network to connect potential customers with completed examples of retrofitted homes.
Heralded as the biggest home improvement scheme since World War Two, the Green Deal is envisaged as a ‘pay-as-you-save’ mechanism, through which customers receive energy efficiency measures at no upfront cost. Repayments are made over a period of time via the customer’s electricity bill. The two key elements of the scheme are:
• The ‘golden rule’ which states that only properties where the projected savings on energy bills – as judged by an accredited assessor – are greater than the cost of the energy efficiency measures are eligible.
• The repayments, which are attached to the property rather than the individual. If the person who signed up for the scheme moves house, responsibility for payments will pass to the next person named on the electricity bill.
The Green Deal is complemented by another of DECC’s policy interventions, the Energy Company Obligation (ECO). ECO places obligations on energy suppliers to meet three targets in the domestic sector: the Carbon Saving obligation, the Carbon Saving Communities obligation, and the Affordable Warmth obligation. Suppliers can use a combination of promotion and subsidy to meet these targets, which together will help deliver energy efficiency measures to hard-to-treat homes, low-income areas, and households vulnerable to fuel poverty.
Future of London’s work on the Green Deal and the Energy Company Obligation began in 2012 in partnership with EDF Energy, and was headlined by our publication Delivering Energy Efficiency in London. FoL is currently undertaking a policy update to the changes to the Green Deal and ECO since this publication, and will also be organising two more events in our energy efficiency series for spring 2013. Please keep checking our Energy Efficiency and Event pages for updates on this work.