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Why Not Make the Green Deal Work for You?

Little over a month after its launch in January, the Green Deal saw encouraging levels of early uptake. According to Energy and Climate Change Secretary Edward Davey, 1,803 Green Deal assessments have already been carried out and £26.9m of ECO (Energy Company Obligation) contracts have been signed, demonstrating genuine interest from consumers across Great Britain.

Nevertheless, many who could be taking advantage of the business opportunities presented these initiatives either remain cautious about becoming a Green Deal Registered Installer or Advisor – or simply don’t know how.

So why should you get involved and how can you make the most of the Government’s flagship initiative to revolutionise the energy efficiency of British properties?

First, not all Green Deal ‘measures’ are created equal. Although the best energy efficiency measure will be dependent on the context – the type of property and the needs of its occupants – some of these home improvements will be more popular than others.

One survey carried out by the Energy Saving Trust for example, found that more than half of homeowners were interested in getting double glazing, just one of more than 40 measures available under the Green Deal.  With average annual savings of £635 per year, solar PV is also likely to be very popular.  As is loft insulation, a simple but effective measure that could save around £180 per year and pay for itself within two.

Green Deal finance now means occupants are able to recoup the cost of these installations and many more via savings on existing energy bills. As consumers become increasingly aware that they can improve their homes and save themselves money in the long run, with potentially zero net costs month to month, demand for the Installers and Advisors to carry out Green Deal plans can only grow.

To get involved in the Green Deal you must join the Green Deal Certification Scheme – as only measures approved and installed by members of this scheme are eligible for Green Deal finance. You may also need additional training to get qualified. Both training and certification are provided by official Green Deal Certification Bodies like NAPIT.

With NAPIT you can train to become a Green Deal Advisor and/or gain certification for your business to operate as a Green Deal Assessor Organisation. You can also make the most of existing renewables and energy efficiency installation skills – or learn to install new green technologies with a NAPIT training course – and join NAPIT’s Green Deal Certification Scheme as an Installer. Existing NAPIT certificated MCS installers can achieve Green Deal approval with minor changes to their existing approval and at no additional fee.

NAPIT Director of Standards, David Cowburn, said; “Although it’s still early days for the Green Deal, we’ve seen significant interest in the scheme and already had some real success stories among those who have gained accreditation. One of our members has reported receiving more than 40 enquires in just under a month, 36 of which lead directly to assessment work.   The domestic renewables and energy efficiency markets have seen real long term growth in the past few years, even without this incentive.   As consumer awareness of the benefits on offer under the Green Deal grows, the amount of work this could generate – particularly for those who already have a background in related trades or the green economy – really is an exciting prospect.”

Between 2011 and 2012 the green economy grew by 19.6 per cent to account for 11.3 per cent of the UK’s total energy output,  representing over a third of the UK’s economic growth over the same period, and supporting around a million jobs.  With the Green Deal making green home improvements accessible to more people than ever before, the potential benefits of to making the Green Deal work for you should not be underestimated.

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