GREEN DEAL MAY BE ON THE WAY BACK
16 January 2017
Green Deal may be on the way back following the sale of the Green Deal Finance Company to a consortium of financial organisation, in which the key partners are keen to breathe new life into the energy efficiency scheme.
It is not yet clear whether assessors/advisers will retain their original role in the scheme, but news of the sale has already been called “potentially exciting” by accreditation body Elmhurst, and was given a cautious welcome by Stroma, and by the Chair of an assessor organisation.
The news was also welcomed by Minister for Energy and Industry Jesse Norman (below), who said: “People living in more energy efficient homes can have lower bills and warmer homes, while producing fewer carbon emissions, which is why the Government has committed to improving the insulation of more than one million homes over this Parliament. This deal will help us to reach that goal.”
The GDFC was originally financed by Government, with back-up finance of more than £200m from the Green Investment Bank, though in reality Green Deal loans only amounted to around £40m before finance was pulled in July 2015.
The organisation’s loan book has now been taken over by energy efficiency financiers Greenstone Finance, in partnership with renewable energy finance specialists Aurium, and they are both keen to generate further financing opportunities.
Kilian Pender, Founder and CEO of Greenstone Finance, said: “We believe that the concept of repaying your loan as you save on your energy bills is an excellent one, and with the significant private investment that we have secured, we’re looking forward to rolling the Green Deal finance scheme out across the country. We will provide homeowners a cost-effective way to improve their homes and quality of life.”
Nimesh Kamath, Partner at Aurium, said: “This joint venture with Greenstone Finance adds to Aurium’s continued commitment to the UK renewable energy sector and, in particular, the objective of improving the energy efficiency of UK buildings for consumers and business owners alike, whilst supporting the wider goals of distributed energy generation and energy security in the UK.”
Andy Parkin, Technical Manager at Stroma Certification said: “We have the mechanisms and industry leading software in place and will be supportive of the replacement to Green Deal. We are aware of the sale but are unable to comment further at this time.”
Martyn Reed, Managing Director of accreditation body Elmhurst Energy said it was “pleased to see some potentially exciting news” in the sector.
He said Elmhurst had understood that the GDFC was in the process of obtaining new ownership last year, and added: “It looks as if the new organisation can and is willing to breathe new life into the pay as you save model.
“We also note that the private rental market is certainly an opportunity for Green Deal. In fact some commentators have said that the legislation on Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards, allow some landlords to avoid bringing their properties up to the required ‘E’ EPC rating. With the re-launch of the Green Deal, this loophole looks like being closed.
“The first task for the organisation will be re-launching the loan scheme and getting traction in the market place. This is definitely one to watch this year.”
Sue Coleman (left), Chair of West Country assessors’ organisation DCHI told us: “I have a small scale GDAO and actually renewed my certification on the back of the hope that there may be some activity on Green Deal; certainly the number of GDAOs appears to be greatly reduced.
“It appears that the Private Rental Sector Exemption register may have a part to play in this too. Everything as usual is still a bit ‘foggy’, but there was consultation on the Green Deal code of practice just before Christmas, so that would indicate some activity.
“I would like to think that this time round Green Deal could benefit more households with a more competitive interest rate. So many more people could benefit from using a Green Deal plan to improve their home, it would actually achieve what it was set up for and not just for the rental sector but for all.”
For more detail on the new GDFC go to http://gdfc.co.uk/press-releases
See also Assessors Still Vital in New GD