We work with many installers who have decided to invest their time and energy into being part of the Green Deal & ECO initiative. The tone of recent press is in stark contrast to the feeling on the ground from many installers who are diversifying into these new work streams.
With any new initiative there are bound to be a few teething problems, for example the delays in funding availability on the Green Deal from Green Deal Providers. However, what we must not forget is that we are one quarter of one year into a 20 year + scheme and no one is expecting things to fly straight from the off. This is why on the ground, the recent statistics are being seen as positive. With tens of thousands of assessments and installations taking place this is leading to new work streams for participating installers.
More than 6,000 people have opted to invest their own savings into the energy efficiency improvements recommended on their Green Deal Advice Report. This is fantastic news. Improvements to the energy efficiency of homes is the underpinning aim of the Green Deal regardless of how the measures are funded, alongside this, these 6,000 + installations have all been additional work for installers that otherwise might not have taken place.
ECO is a driving force in installations across people in fuel poverty, hard to treat properties etc. This is fuelling work for installers within the scheme and alongside the first 245+ Green Deal plans, is highlighting promising signs for a scheme in its infancy.
SMEs are the key to the development of the Green Deal & ECO. Green Deal Providers and the Energy companies recognise that in order to reach the general public, this needs to be done at a local level, meaning local installers – local plumbers, local buildersA local heating engineer with existing relationships with local customers is able to identify the needs of these customers and make recommendations that the customer trusts. This relationship is between the SME and the consumer, many of whom are skeptical of larger brands.
Lifestyle Heating, of Poulton Le Fylde in the North West, are a typical example of a heating installer diversifying into the Green Deal & ECO. After achieving Green Deal Certification in early 2013 with the support of Easy Green Deal, Lifestyle Heating are already sourcing new work in their local area through their own means, in addition to their core business.
Director Garry Broadbent says “We decided to make the investment into being a part of this revolutionary scheme, to bring in new work to our business. Since achieving our Green Deal Certification we have been able to generate our own work locally and have also accessed funding to allow us to complete installations under ECO, where our customers can access funding to cover the cost. We have connections with Green Deal Advisors which allow us to complete the route to Green Deal for consumers that want to access this funding as opposed to using their savings.”
“The Green Deal & ECO have allowed us to reach customers who would otherwise have been unable to complete the improvements they really needed and by adding this string to our bow we have been able to increase the amount of work we have been doing. When we originally looked at making this investment we saw it as an investment into diversifying and accessing a new market, a new stream of work. We made the investment, used the support and training at Easy Green Deal and are now out sourcing and winning more work.”
“The negative press that is out there, appears unfounded and selective in the information used to support it. The real message should be that installers on the ground can access new areas of work and create jobs in addition to their existing business. This work is improving the efficiency of people’s homes & reducing energy bills, which was the aim of the scheme in the first place.”
Installers like Lifestyle are also taking this opportunity to utilise some entrepreneurial flair and team up with Green Deal assessor companies and even branch out into installing new measures which allows them to offer a whole house solution to both Green Deal providers and consumers.