RELAUNCH FOR NEW GREEN DEAL
28 March 2017
The replacement for Green Deal will name its first eight new Green Deal Providers and begin giving new loans during the next month.
EAM has also been told that the scheme will be getting an extensive revamp which should see over-complex procedures improved and streamlined, and the scheme promoted to the public proactively with a new web portal and direct marketing.
The new owners of the Green Deal Finance Company have told us this week that changes to the scheme will be going on over the summer and it should be re-launched in the autumn, but that they are ready to go ahead shortly with the first new loans.
These will be the first GD loans since the plug was pulled on finance for the Green Deal Finance Company in July 2015 by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, which was itself shut down by Theresa May when she came to power a year later.
This time around the scheme will be run with private finance attracted by a partnership of two specialist organisations, renewable energy finance specialists Aurium, and energy efficiency financiers Greenstone Finance – though it’s not clear yet what the interest rate will be on loans.
Kilian Pender (right), Founder and CEO of Greenstone, said the GDFC will be launching a new brand later this year, but the Green Deal scheme will still be subject to the Energy Act 2011 and the Consumer Credit Act – and clearly he has no plans to fall into the Government trap of quoting ambitious loan targets, which were never met with the original scheme.
He told us: “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.
“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.
“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.”
Promoting the scheme to the public was a much-publicised failure of the original Green Deal, so promotion and marketing are being seen as important for the new scheme.
“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 market materials,” said Mr Pender.
“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 tool 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.
“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.
“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.”
He added that the names of approved GDPs under the new Green Deal scheme will be made publicly available once origination of new loans commences in April – though one organisation couldn’t resist the temptation to reveal its appointment on Twitter last week!
This article is based on an interview with Kilian Pender which can be seen at Interview with New GDFC Boss