INTERVIEW WITH NEW GDFC BOSS
28 March 2017
Since we learned in January that Green Deal was about to be re-born after the sale of the Green Deal Finance Company the new management has been commendably open about its plans, but inevitably there have been questions that they could not answer in advance of further work on their plans. Here Terry Wardle, Editor of Energy Assessor Magazine, finds out from Greenstone Finance founder and CEO Kilian Pender where we are now on the launch of what is being called son of Green Deal.
Terry Wardle : I understand the scheme will be renamed? Will it still be subject to the Green Deal regulations if it’s no longer called Green Deal?
Kilian Pender (right) : The GDFC will be launching a new brand later this year, however the Green Deal scheme is still subject to the Energy Act 2011 and the Consumer Credit Act.
TW : When are you going to start giving new loans?
KP : April 2017.
TW : The new Green Deal Providers have not been named yet. When are you making the names public?
KP : The names of approved GDPs under the new Green Deal scheme will be made publicly available once origination of new loans commences in April.
TW : You have made clear that you are making efforts to connect with installers. How many new Green Deal installers have you approved so far?
KP : In order to provide high-quality service, we’ve chosen to relaunch with eight installers – whose details will be on the GDFC website in April when we start loan origination again – because of their impeccable track record to date.
TW : Have you got any targets for numbers of loans you are hoping to make in the first year?
KP : Our focus for 2017 is on improving the Green Deal product and service offering to customers – including the route to market, customer experience and quality control. As such, we don’t have ambitions of originating a vast number of loans in 2017. We are here for the long-haul and will focus on loan origination targets only once we have improved the service offering.
TW : I understand you are planning a new public-facing website. What are the public likely to see and be able to do there?
KP : The website will be an integral portal for disseminating information to the public, ensuring GDFC products and services are clearly defined, easy to access and simple for customers to maintain.
TW : I understand there will be a simplified Green Deal digital application process. Any other aspects of the process being streamlined?
KP : Overall the GDFC will transition the organisation to a more sales driven, customer focused organisation attuned to customer experience by improving the website, creating a customer experience team, diversifying product offerings and improving sales materials for providers and installers. The specific improvements to the customer experience will be refined over time as loan origination begins again and data is made available that highlights any issues in the process.
TW : I understand promotion of the scheme will be by ‘direct marketing’ – so mail, email, text? Any advertising plans?
KP : We want to ensure public awareness of the Green Deal is improved so we will support Green Deal Providers and installers by enhancing sales and marketing materials. We want approved GDPs and GDIs to be able to ramp up their businesses efficiently and in line with our high standards of practice. Direct marketing tools are likely to be implemented to facilitate customer awareness alongside other strategies such as digital outreach, including the launch of an easy to use website.
TW : Since one of the companies which have taken over GDFC is particularly concerned with sustainability, will we see a whole new focus in Green Deal on renewables?
KP : The GDFC will offer all 45 products currently allowed under the Green Deal legislation and the Energy Act 2011. We have ambitious growth plans and aim to become the leading platform for consumers in the UK in the home energy space. However, we will take care to ensure any product we offer has the appropriate customer support behind it before making it available to the market, and will look to add other appropriate measures to this list over time, for example battery storage.