New Version of GD Code of Practice

NEW VERSION OF GD CODE OF PRACTICE

14 March 2017

Following the sale of the Green Deal Finance Company in January, the BEIS has come up with a new version of the GD Code of Practice – though it’s not actually clear at the moment what is new about it.

And NDEAs seem to be sceptical about the prospects for them to finally become involved in the scheme, even though the new GDFC owners have gone on record as saying they are keen to extend it to commercial properties.

The Code of Practice document essentially sets out the requirements of all the relevant parties involved in Green Deal including Green Deal Providers, Green Deal Assessors, Green Deal Installers and Green Deal Certification Bodies.

The current version of the Code was published in June 2014, well before David Cameron’s re-election, the Brexit vote and the start of Theresa May’s premiership, so it may simply be that a re-dated version was thought desirable by BEIS, but accreditations seem to be scratching their heads at the moment over what has changed in the new version 5.

Elmhurst told its members on their website: “We will trawl through the document looking for the changes that are proposed and the impact that they will have to all stakeholders and will make a comment when we have digested the finer details.”

And the accreditation body added in a press statement: “We welcome the renewed positivity around Green Deal with the new owners of the Green Deal Finance Company and Government saying the right things.

“We at Elmhurst are reviewing the new version of the Code of Conduct especially in the context of lots of noise in the market place surrounding Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) and the Private Rental Sector (PRS), meaning that Landlords will not be able to let F&G rated domestic and non domestic buildings from April 2018.

“We have been extremely busy informing our members over the past few years of what they can do to help this vital sector of the market meet the legal requirements.

“The Green Deal will be a very important part of the ‘funding mix’ in helping finance private landlords, and we will work with all stakeholders to make energy efficiency improvements in the best way for the specific properties.”

The non domestic version of Green Deal has never been introduced, but may now get the green light from GDFC’s new owners, Aurium and Greenstone Finance – see Assessors still vital in new GD

However it appears commercial assessors have reservations about getting involved in it. One leading assessor, who did not want to be named, said: “I am not intending to get involved. As far as I can see the GD tool for non-domestic is totally not fit for purpose and the last thing I want to be doing is encouraging anybody to use it.”

Ian Sturt of West Country assessors’ group DCHI was also cautious about commercial GD, saying: “DCHI has grave concerns about the tools available for the application of Green Deal to non-domestic properties and will be waiting to see if they work in practice.”

There is also concern about whether Green Deal Advice Reports produced by commercial GDAs will play a part in the scheme, since the CoP allows for alternative means of estimating improvements, but accreditation body Elmhurst said that is not a change.

They told us: “That is identical to the current live version 4 and Elmhurst believe that nothing sinister should be read into this option.

“The statement may appear to be at odds against Green Deal Assessors using Green Deal Advice Reports (GDARs), but we must remember that for a limited number of non domestic buildings with extra complexity, the SBEM model may not be adequate and there will be specialists out there that may be able to provide comprehensive professional figures to use.

“Using SBEM is perfectly adequate for the vast majority of commercial buildings in the UK, and the typical measures that businesses are likely to want to install under Green Deal will appear on the GDAR.”

The new version of the Green Deal Code of Practice is expected to come into force in just over a month.  To download a copy click here