UK Green Building Council

The Green Deal

The Green Deal is Government's flagship environmental policy, aiming to drive energy efficiency improvements in millions of UK homes and businesses at low or no up-front cost to the customer.

What is the Green Deal?

Launched in January 2013, the Green Deal is the Government's flagship retrofit initiative. It is a market-based policy framework designed to drive energy efficiency improvements in millions of UK homes and businesses. It is hoped that the scheme will catalyse billions of pounds of investment annually and create many thousands of jobs. With over 40% of the UK’s emissions coming from the existing UK building stock, the Green Deal also stands to play a vital role in helping the Government achieve its carbon emissions reduction targets.

How does it work?

The scheme is designed around a 'Pay as You Save' model (as originally proposed by the UK Green Building Council in 2009) with private finance being provided to meet the up-front cost of Green Deal-eligible energy efficiency measures.

A key aspect of the proposals is the 'Golden Rule', which states that measures installed through the scheme must deliver savings which exceed the repayments. Another innovative aspect of the proposals is that the responsibility for repayments is attached to the property’s energy meter rather than the householder or business – meaning that it is passed on to the next occupier when the current incumbent moves on. The Green Deal will also be supported by a new Energy Company Obligation (ECO), which will provide subsidies for 'hard to treat' homes and funds for tackling fuel poverty.

The detail of the scheme – from assessments and installation, to accreditation and finance - have been developed in close collaboration with industry, with a consultation document on the proposals launched by the Department for Energy and Climate Change in November 2011. This closed in January and, over the course of early 2012, Government announced a number of changes to its original proposals. The full response the the consultation was eventually published in June 2012, with the secondary legislation also laid in Parliament.

Our involvement in policy development

The UK-GBC has been involved throughout the development of the scheme, including as a member of DECC’s Green Deal capacity and innovation forum, and as joint secretariat to the Green Deal commercial property forum (with the British Property Federation). This involvement reflects our key role in developing the “Pay as You Save” model.

We have put on a number of Green Deal events to examine the proposals and to inform our own response to the Green Deal and ECO consultation. We will continue to work with Government to shape the implementation of the scheme over the coming months and years, and to help members play a leading role in its delivery.

We are keen to ensure that there are sufficiently strong incentives for businesses and households to take up energy efficiency measures (including via the Green Deal), and to create a compelling market opportunity for industry. Our Retrofit Incentives report outlines proposals for the three most promising options - variable stamp duty, variable council tax and an energy efficiency feed-in-tariff.

Though a significant amount of focus has been given to the Green Deal for homes, the scheme is also available for non-domestic buildings. To help our members understand the implications of the initiative and contribute to policy development for non-domestic buildings, UK-GBC ran a stakeholder consultation workshop on the Green Deal last year - a summary report is available.

UK-GBC has also worked with British Property Federation to understand the implications of the scheme for business, and provide advice to government. The final report is available for UK-GBC members only.

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