The Green Deal initiative is a direct consequence of The Energy Act 2011. The main aim of The Act is to limit the current financial barriers of investing in energy efficiency, to enhance energy security and to encourage and enable investment in low carbon energy sources. The main focus of The Act is to provide a financing framework for improvements in energy efficiency in buildings commonly referred to as The Green Deal.
Energy suppliers will be enabled to provide various financing initiatives aimed at improving efficiency without up-front investment by the end-user. In effect, it enables them to provide long term loans to their customers which will be paid off by savings in subsequent energy bills.
The scheme provides various training and employment opportunities for people already employed within the construction industry.
Green Deal Advisors
In order to take part in the scheme it will be necessary to have a qualifying assessment which must be carried out by a qualified advisor. To become a qualified advisor you’ll need meet the requirements set out the National Occupational Standards for Green Deal Advisors and be employed by an organisation which has been certified within the scheme. It will be possible to become a an independent, self-employed assessor provided you meet all the regulatory requirements.
Although there are currently no official courses or training schemes available it is expected that various providers will develop and offer certification/qualification from April/May 2012 onwards.
Green Deal Property Practitioners
Where a property taking part in the The Green Deal is sold or rented it will be disclosed via the existing Energy Performance Certificate and it is anticipated that property professionals including surveyors, solicitors and estate agents will be advising their clients about the scheme and ensuring that all requirements have been met.
There are no plans to run an independent accreditation scheme and it is expected that activities relevant to green deal will be incorporated into standard practice – although The Department for Energy and Climate Change will be working with relevant professional bodies in order to achieve this.
Green Deal Installers
Where a property has been assessed under the scheme only an authorised Green Deal Installer will be able to carry out the work. A sole trader or organisation can become an authorised installer by obtaining certification by an accredited body. It is anticipated that experienced installers will already meet the standards required although some top-up training may be necessary.
A Word of Warning
The Green Deal will, no doubt, provide many opportunities for those already employed within the industry as well as for those embarking on a career in construction. Any training courses, qualifications or accreditation should be viewed as an enhancement to your current qualifications and/or experience and not a career in itself.
It isn’t so long ago that the Home Information Pack fiasco (HIPS) resulted in dubious training providers offering expensive courses in the hope that accreditation would be a licence to print money. Many of the people taken-in had no previous experience in the industry and, needless to say, were mostly disappointed when the scheme was subsequently scrapped. Similar courses are already being advertised for the Green Deal scheme – always check that the organisation offering any such course is reputable with an established track record.