The Green Deal

The Green Deal (TGD), by Ian Baker.
Martin Fodor and I attended an evening seminar on The Green Deal. It was put on by The Centre for Sustainable Energy, Bristol Energy Network, SevernWye Energy Agency and Scottish and Southern Energy. The following is my synopsis of the evening’s talks and discussions.
Around 50 participants attended, ranging from Bath, Backwell, Marlborough, Cheltenham, as well as Bristol.
Phillip Morris from CSE explained the benefits of TGD as being a future investment in reduced energy costs, but avoiding the upfront capital costs of insulation and other energy reducing facilities. The costs of the supplies would be taken from the reducing household heating bills and a Golden Rule would ensure that the expected financial savings would be greater than or equal to the costs attached to the fuel bills.
An Energy Performance Certificate of the accommodation could be graded as ‘B’ with fuel bills around £530 compared with current gradings of ‘G’ for many households, costing £2200. Such transition could be brought about with loft and cavity wall insulation.  Around 50% of houses have solid walls and/or are flat conversions.
Consultation on TGD will take place this autumn. Basically, an assessor will estimate the costs of patterns of energy reduction. If some charge is accepted, a contract will be placed with a supplier and the work will be carried out by a team from an energy company. The pay-back can take place over 25 years or less and the investment remains with the property, should a house move take place.
The CSE offered an alternative approach depending on engagement with a local builder and sufficient back-up to ensure the upfront capital contract was applied. Repayment would be via energy bills.
In general, households would have sufficient warmth with reduced energy use and carbon emissions. Some life-style changes will be needed. More vulnerable households with low energy use would have further consideration of the process by the Government.
TGD has a number of uncertainties still to be resolved (eg the nature of warranties), but seeks to move the housing stock to lower energy usage. TGD will apply also to non-domestic buildings.
The discussion captured more events in 2012 with the Green Doors, Street Wardens with the FoE, investments in community buildings like churches and schools for shared community returns, solar PVs applied to streets rather than houses and training on Solar PV installations as Hamilton House takes four sets of panels on its roof.
The Government’s consultation on TGD may be voluminous and Sustainable Bishopston will give further advice and interpretations.

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