The green deal was mostly regarded as a flop. But it wasn’t just the homeowner that got let down with this DECC lead initiative, it was also businesses that lost money, suffering at the hands of the people with the golden key to the ECO or the green deal finance and the main contractors. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side and the green deal was no exception to this quote. Read our blog here for our green deal and ECO experience, as we saw it, from our perspective as a small business both as green deal assessors and green deal installers of external wall insulation.
All4walls can still assist you with your solid wall insulation project the green deal and the ECO funding may be pretty much dead but at least we have the lower 5% VAT rate, (for the time being, the EU wanted to stop this lower energy savings material rate)
So why did the green deal fail?
The green deal and ECO are the former UK government carbon saving programmes. The Department of energy climate change (DECC) lead campaign now re-named the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) was intended to be a carbon saving initiative which was intended to help the UK homeowners and tenants save energy and money. It was designed in part to help the UK meet their EU carbon targets.
Basically, under the energy company’s obligation (ECO) The calculated energy-carbon savings over a 25 year period for solid wall insulation on a home were converted into funding amounts by the big six energy firms, they (the energy suppliers) had to swap cash for carbon savings to meet their own carbon saving targets or they would face heavy fines. The ECO funding was and still is collected and paid for by all energy end users, it is us the energy bill payers who fund the ECO
Unlike the disappointing green deal, ECO was real money towards the cost of insulating homes.
As many homeowners know the green deal was fraught with many flaws and not just teething problems. Often finding the right contractor with the relevant experience and skills who could offer a bespoke approach in the design and installation to a homeowner’s unique property, was not always possible because nearly all contractors and designers had to use one of the main suppliers funding channels. In other words in you wanted access to ECO funding you had to use their “off the peg” insulation system, which may not have been the best choice for the property. Assuming you were lucky enough to have the facility of actually applying for ECO funds, most providers were tied in with large EWI manufacturers and contract firms including Carilion.
For the contractors is was just as bad an experience as the homeowners who wanted to have solid wall insulation.
Most contractors were faced with frustration and confusion, it was chaos, problems such as gaining access to the actual funding, paying ridiculous amounts running into thousands for paperwork and training courses, etc
The ECO funding all but stopped (abruptly) soon after the supposed David Cameron’s “cut the green deal C**P” remark back in November 2013 in answer to the general discontent with rising energy bills.
The massively complicated green deal was designed to be a way of borrowing money for external wall cladding from the green deal finance company and paying it back through the savings on the energy. The cost of the borrowing which was not interest-free (mostly cheaper with a mortgage lender and a lot more easier to borrow) was to be collected by the energy supplier via the electricity bill (not everyone has mains gas, so the electricity bill was used for collection). If you left the house the debt passed onto the new owner, up to 25 years to repay even if the payments were not to exceed the re-payment as per the green deal golden rule or energy saving calculation this was not something everyone warmed to the idea of.
Standards for measuring the quality of workmanship and compliance with the scheme were designed to be robust with the installer having to gain and hold PAS 2030 accreditation. This was mostly a very complicated paper filling exercise and a very expensive one at that, it was not a quality control of the actual work.
This resulted in some really good experienced businesses being unable to not get in on the action, (small-medium enterprises or SME’s as DECC liked to call them).
In reality, little or nothing in the way of inspecting the actual work or contractors competence at actually installing solid wall insulation or after installation visits were conducted. If you could afford to pay several thousand pounds and fathom the paperwork out or could afford to pay someone else to do it for you (firms sprung up offering to deal with your green deal application) then you were more or less in the green deal club.
But accreditation to the green deal was just the beginning of a dreadful experience for the small business, getting access to the ECO or green deal funding was a real problem, if not an impossibility. So it was the big outfits using masses of sub-contractors that got a piece of the green deal and ECO cake. As well all know using armies of sub-contractors can come with high-quality assurance risks. If you are having any problems with your external solid wall insulation such as condensation, damp or the render finish has cracks or is coming off the wall get in touch to arrange a possible survey we are here to help. For more information on defects and problems with solid wall, insulation and our survey service see HERE