Willmott Dixon and Carillion ramp up on Green Deal
The slow but steady increase in the number of registered Green Deal assessments – which has reaching a total of 18,816 with 9,522 in April alone – includes around 450 each from Green Deal providers Carillion and Willmott Dixon.
But no households have yet signed a Green Deal plan, a failing highlighted by another industry Green Deal provider, Larkfleet of Lincolnshire.
Larkfleet’s operations and business development director Dave Deegan says: “Assessments may be going well but the fact is that not one single Green Deal has yet taken place. And until the Treasury sorts out a better deal with the energy companies over the price of carbon, the opportunity the Green Deal is meant to represent will not actually turn out to be much of an opportunity at all.”
Carillion, which is working closely with Birmingham City Council to take 26,000 people out of fuel poverty in the next three years, is pleased with DECC’s latest uptake figures, published this week.
“Until the Treasury sorts out a better deal with the energy companies over the price of carbon, the opportunity the Green Deal is meant to represent will not actually turn out to be much of an opportunity at all.”
Dave Deegan, Larkfleet
Chris Hall, Carillion’s account director for joint venture company Birmingham Energy Savers, says: “It’s a fantastic month-on-month increase [in assessments], and we’re experiencing a similar jump in assessments. We’ve now carried out 445 assessments in the Birmingham area, primarily for individual home-owners. And since January, we’ve had 9,000 people contact our call centre to enquire about the Green Deal, from a mixture of tenures.”
Willmott Dixon, which is targeting local authorities and housing associations with its Green deal offer, also takes a more sanguine view of the assessment figures than Larkfleet.
Rob Lambe, managing director of Willmott Dixon Energy Services, says: “We’re not surprised that there’s been no quick transition from assessments into workloads. It’s a big step for individuals to get their heads round the practicalities of the Green Deal and understand its benefits.
“And that’s true for everyone, not just homeowners. Local authorities and the public sector are all having to get everything lined up with the Green Deal providers. We were never expecting a rapid conversion rate from assessments. And we don’t think it’s a matter for concern – we’re not at a make-or-break stage, the programme will continue to roll out steadily.”
But Larkfleet’s Deegan believes there is a £900m funding gap between the £1.3bn a year currently pledged by the big six energy companies in Energy Company Obligations and the £2.2bn that he says will be required. “If the chancellor had stuck to his guns in the Budget and increased the standing charge on energy meters, he could have raised that amount, but politicking got in the way,” says Deegan.
The latest government figures show that 18,816 Green Deal assessments have now been lodged, with 9,522 in April, compared to 7,491 in March and 1,729 in February.
Commenting on the publication of the latest Green Deal statistics, energy and climate change minister Greg Barker said: “The Green Deal market is showing healthy signs of growth since its launch at the end of January with 18,816 Green Deal assessments carried out by the end of April. That’s over double the amount of assessments undertaken by the end of March.
“It’s still early days for this long term initiative, but this is a clear sign of growing interest from consumers, with people keen to improve the efficiency of their homes to make them warmer and help save money on bills.
“As the number of householders getting on board continues to rise, the number of businesses offering Green Deal services is also building momentum. At the end of April there were 55 authorised Green Deal providers, 1,274 individuals registered to carry out assessments and 942 organisations signed up to carry out installations. It’s fantastic to see householders and businesses cottoning on to the benefits and rising to the challenge.”