Climate change and energy – guidance

Becoming an authorised Green Deal organisation

This detailed guidance was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

How to participate in the Green Deal as an assessor, provider or installer, including certification and compliance with the Code of Practice

Looking for a Green Deal assessment? Search for assessors in your area.

Overview

Our ambition is to enable as many of the 26 million households and 4.5 million businesses as possible in Great Britain to benefit from energy efficiency improvements in the most cost-effective way. In line with this ambition, the Green Deal is designed to:

  • finance a broad range of energy efficiency improvements
  • revitalise and drive a competitive and enduring market for energy efficiency

Tradespeople, manufacturers and others involved in the supply and installation of energy saving products are all able to participate in the Green Deal – a new scheme designed to improve the energy efficiency of Britain’s properties. With a variety of operating models available, small and medium-sized businesses are well placed to join this new market.

There is a suite of guidance and information for all organisations and individuals preparing, participating or considering taking part in the Green Deal scheme as:

  • assessors
  • providers
  • installers
  • certification bodies for Green Deal accreditation

The Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) has also created a series of quick guides on the Green Deal that industry participants can share with their customers.

Assessors and advisors

A Green Deal assessment is the first step for consumers to enter into a Green Deal plan. Assessments must be undertaken by a Green Deal advice organisation also called a Green Deal assessor organisation. This is the certified organisation under which individual Green Deal advisors work.

Assessor organisations may work independently, contract with or be part of a Green Deal provider organisation. A Green Deal assessor can also be a sole trader if they are certified by a Green Deal certification body.

Organisations who wish to be a Green Deal assessor organisation should contact a certification body to discuss how they can become certified to provide assessments and advice under the Green Deal.

To become a Green Deal assessor organisation, you must:

  • be certified by UKAS as meeting the relevant Green Deal scheme standard
  • comply with the Code of Practice
  • be registered with the Green Deal Registration and Oversight Body
  • have training on producing the Green Deal advice report

You can also read the full specification for assessor organisations.

For more information regarding advisor training, including registering your interest, see the Green Deal pages on the Asset Skills website.

The advisor role

Advisors are the individuals who physically carry out the assessments.

Qualified and authorised Green Deal Advisors make recommendations for measures that could improve the energy efficiency of the building. They will have technical knowledge, practical competence and skills to provide consumers with the advice they need in order to make informed decisions.

A qualified, authorised Green Deal advisor is any individual who:

  • meets the requirements to be set out in both the National Occupational Standards (NOS) for Green Deal advisors
  • is employed by an organisation that has been certified by the appointed Certification Body against the relevant Green Deal scheme standard, complies with the Code of Practice, and appears on the Green Deal Assessor Register

A number of training providers offer training for the domestic Green Deal Advisor qualification with the non-domestic qualification expected to be offered shortly. All training must be based on the National Occupational Standards for Green Deal advisors. Asset Skills, the Sector Skills Council responsible for the Built Environment, has been appointed by DECC manage the delivery of this project throughout Great Britain.

Green Deal advisors will need to be active members of an accredited Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) Accreditation Scheme for either Domestic Energy Assessors (DEAs) or Non-Domestic Energy Assessors (NDEAs) as appropriate.

In Scotland, they will need to have obtained membership of an approved organisation, appointed by Scottish Ministers in the production of domestic or non-domestic Energy Performance Certificates, as appropriate.

DECC has worked with Asset Skills to develop National Occupational Standards (NOS) for Green Deal advisors as well as a publicly available syllabus that will provide more detail on the knowledge that will be required for the role. We have also worked with Asset Skills and other stakeholders to put in place a robust Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) framework which recognises existing skills as part of the Green Deal Advisor qualification process.

Assessor certification standards

Standards for organisations certifying the Green Deal bodies and organisations offering Green Deal advice services have been developed following extensive consultation with stakeholders and tested by UKAS (appointed to accredit certification bodies for the certification of advisors and installers).

Assessment software

RdSAP has been revised as part of the continuing improvements of the methodology for energy assessments and to support the delivery of Green Deal policy. It is known as RdSAP 2009 version 9.91 and will apply to all Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) produced from 1 April 2012 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (and from a later date in 2012 in Scotland).

The Occupancy Assessment tool has been developed for the Green Deal and forms part of the Green Deal domestic assessment along with the EPC. You can download the draft methodology and associated documents from the BRE website.

Non-domestic software

The beta version of the Green Deal non-domestic tool, being developed by BRE, is now in its fourth version. This tool builds on the current EPC and enables Green Deal Advisors to further tailor their property assessments. More information can be found on the BRE website.

Green Deal Improvement Package (GDIP) Tool

The package of improvement measures recommended in a Green Deal Advice Report (GDAR) may need to be amended at a later stage. For example, an installer may discover an unforeseen problem that prevents a measure from being installed, or the customer may change their mind and decide against one or more of the GDAR measures before they are installed.

If the package of measures in a Green Deal Plan does not correspond exactly with those listed on the first page of a Green Deal Advice Report (or a GDAR package that has been amended by an Advisor Tool), any subsequent Green Deal Plan will be invalid.

Green Deal Providers and Advisors can use the Green Deal Improvement Package (GDIP) Tool, to retrieve a domestic Green Deal Advice Report (GDAR) from the Green Deal Register and create alternative packages of improvement measures for the customer, without the need to undertake a full new assessment.

The following restrictions will apply:

  • A Provider will be able to remove measures from a GDIP, but not add new ones;
  • A Provider cannot modify the configuration of measures in a GDIP (e.g. depth of insulation; coverage (m2) of SWI, orientation of a solar panel);
  • An Advisor may add or remove measures from a GDIP and re-configure measures already on a GDIP, but only if they are the same Advisor who lodged the original GDAR.

The GDIP Tool is accessible by anyone who has an active Green Deal Register account as a Green Deal Advisor or Provider. The GDIP tool is now available to use free of charge at www.gdsap.org.uk.

Providers

The Green Deal provider is the counter-signatory to the Green Deal plan and responsible for both the provision of finance and arranging installation of energy efficiency works.

The Green Deal provider is responsible for offering a Green Deal plan to customers, based on recommendations from an accredited assessor. The plan sets out the financial terms of the agreement and must also include extra consumer protections such as warranties to cover the measures and installation.

The provider is also responsible for:

  • arranging for the installation of energy efficiency works, carried out by an authorised installer
  • ongoing obligations in relation to Green Deal plans, including dealing with customer complaints and providing information when a new bill payer moves in

Green Deal providers may choose to carry out the assessment and supply of goods and installation using their own employees, or they may sub-contract this.

The authorisation requirements for Green Deal providers is set out in Green Deal provider guidance (published 19 November 2012). Further information can be found at on the Green Deal ORB website.

This guidance is intended to provide additional information for Green Deal providers on the requirements of operating in the Green Deal market. It is not a comprehensive handbook to the market, but instead gives guidance on the underlying regulatory framework, in particular the requirements in developing a Green Deal Plan and the monitoring and sanctions processes. It should be read in conjunction with Part 1, Chapter 1 of the Energy Act 2011, the Green Deal Framework Regulations (Disclosure, Acknowledgement, Redress, etc) Regulations 2012 and the Green Deal Code of Practice.

The Green Deal provider guide (published April 2012) provides a step-by-step practical guide aimed at organisations wanting to understand whether the Green Deal market is for them; and if so, how to set up as a Green Deal provider.

The Green Deal Oversight and Registration Body handles queries on the participant registration and authorisation process. You can contact them at:

Website: http://gdorb.decc.gov.uk/ Tel: 020 7090 1031 Email: gdhelpdesk@gemserv.com

Installers

Only an authorised Green Deal Installer can install energy efficiency improvements under the Green Deal finance mechanism. Authorised installers will be able to identify themselves as ‘Green Deal installers’ and use the Green Deal Quality Mark.

Becoming a Green Deal installer

To qualify as an authorised installer, you must:

  • be certified by a Green Deal accredited certification body as meeting the PAS 2030 standard for the measures you wish to install
  • abide by the conditions in the Green Deal Code of Practice
  • be registered by your certification body for the Green Deal with the Oversight and Registration Body and licensed to use the Green Deal Quality Mark

If you are Gas Safe Registered or in the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) scheme, you should contact a Green Deal accredited certification body or your MCS certification body to find out what the process is for you – we have tried to align the Green Deal to these schemes to minimise burdens on their existing members. Details of Green Deal accredited certification bodies are available on the Green Deal Oversight and Registration Body website.

In 2012 DECC announced £2.5 million for training of insulation installers. This fund is available through CITB Construction Skills.

PAS Standards

You can download Insulation and Building Treatments Trainer Resource Manuals with additional information, learning and development on a number of insulation areas.

PAS 2030:2012 is a Publicly Available Specification for the installation of energy efficiency measures in existing buildings, available for purchase from the BSI. It also recommends best practice for managing the installation process and providing services to the customer before, during and after installation.

PAS 2031:2012 is applicable to certification bodies that are providing conformity evaluation services in respect of PAS 2030. Visit the BSI website for further information on purchasing a copy.

The PAS standard covers:

  • condensing boilers, natural gas-fired and liquefied petroleum gas-fired (domestic and non-domestic)
  • condensing boilers, oil-fired (domestic and non-domestic)
  • heating controls
  • under-floor heating
  • flue-gas recovery devices
  • gas-fired warm-air heating systems (domestic and non-domestic)
  • electric storage heaters (domestic and non-domestic)
  • cavity wall insulation
  • loft insulation
  • pitched roof insulation
  • flat roof insulation
  • internal wall insulation
  • external wall insulation
  • hybrid wall insulation
  • draught proofing
  • floor insulation
  • heating system insulation (pipes and cylinders
  • energy efficient glazing and doors
  • lighting fittings
  • lighting controls (non-domestic)
  • ground and air source heat pumps
  • solar thermal
  • solar PV
  • biomass boilers
  • micro-combined heat and power (CHP)
  • micro- and small-scale wind turbine systems

Certification bodies

Certification bodies need to be assessed by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) to the standard EN 45011 and against a set of guidelines for certifying the provision of Green Deal advisor services.

We have published a detailed specification of requirements for certification bodies.

Once the certification body has obtained accreditation, it registers with the Green Deal Oversight and Registration Body and can certify assessor organisations that employ Green Deal advisors, who may be sole traders or larger companies.

The Green Deal Quality Mark

Only authorised Green Deal Participants will be able to identify themselves as ‘Green Deal Approved’ and use the Green Deal Quality Mark.

The Green Deal Oversight and Registration Body is responsible for registering and authorising participants (assessors, installers and providers), ensuring compliance with the Code of Practice and protecting consumers.

Appealing a decision made under the Green Deal Framework Regulations

Where the Secretary of State decides to impose or not impose a sanction under the Green Deal Framework Regulations, or decides to refuse an application for authorisation to act as a green deal assessor certification body or a green deal installer certification body, any person directly affected by the sanction will be able to appeal the Secretary of State’s decision to the First Tier Tribunal.

Green Deal finance

A new finance mechanism sits at the heart of the Green Deal, enabling people to make repayments through their electricity bills.

The Energy Act 2011 makes it clear that electricity suppliers will be acting as agents of Green Deal providers and any revenue collected will be passed to the Green Deal provider on a proportionate basis.

You can find out more in The Green Deal finance: accounting for the Green Deal in energy suppliers which considers the possible accounting treatment of the Green Deal for energy suppliers, focusing on a range of default and liability scenarios

The Green Deal Finance Company

The Green Deal Provider is responsible for sourcing finance under the Green Deal legislation. However, from 28th January 2013, the Green Deal Finance Company has been open to provide low cost finance to those Green Deal Providers who have completed their own preparations, including completing rigorous checks that their companies are equipped to handle consumer lending.

GDFC offers finance to Green Deal Providers at 6.96%. As with some other financial products there are administrative costs; these amounts - £63 to set up, and £20 each year per Green Deal Plan- are fixed and don’t vary with how much is borrowed.

The Green Deal Finance Company is a not-for-profit company, developed and led by the private sector. It involves many of the pioneering companies involved in the Green Deal.

The Green Deal Golden Rule

The Golden Rule is the principle which limits the amount of Green Deal finance that a provider can attach to the energy meter to the estimated energy bill savings that are likely to result from the installation of measures under the Green Deal plan.

This principle aims to keep the energy bills at the property no higher than they would have been had the property been without a Green Deal – this is important both to protect consumers from higher energy bills, and to protect investors from a higher risk of default on the bill.

The first year savings estimate is provided by the Green Deal assessment, and this limits the charge in year 1. To help ensure certainty and confidence to customers, Green Deal Providers can only offer domestic customers Plans with fixed rate deals only.

However, Green Deal providers and customers have the flexibility to capitalise on some of the expected increase in savings, - Green Deal providers can offer customers the option to uplift the whole charge by 2% a year. This is not an increase in the interest rate but a 2% increase in the annual repayment.

If the 2% uplift is agreed and utilised, the instalments related to the plan will still be fixed at the outset. The repayment profile will be made very clear to the customer before the plan is signed and will be disclosed to future bill payers upon transfer of the property.

For non-domestic plans, there may likely be more flexibility.

Domestic electricity payments in Great Britain

The Green Deal does not have a history of repayment data that financiers can access to assess risk. As the Green Deal is designed so that payments are collected via the electricity bill, it is reasonable to assume that Green Deal repayments will perform in a similar way to historic electricity payments. DECC has collected electricity bill payment statistics from energy suppliers to help Green Deal financiers assess the risks of investment in the Green Deal market.

The following publications provide information at an aggregate level for Great Britain (no individual energy supplier has been identified):

Arrears information sheets for electricity suppliers

Standard Licence Condition 37.12 requires electricity suppliers to provide a Green Deal Bill Payer with an arrears information sheet when they issue a Green Deal Arrears Notice.

The information sheet helps electricity bill payers who receive an arrears notice by providing information on key rights and responsibilities and where to go for help or advice.

We are in the process of developing an arrears information sheet for non-domestic electricity customers.

Charge mechanism

Green Deal repayments are collected through the customer’s electricity bill as a separate charge to maximise the number of households and businesses able to access Green Deal finance and facilitate the automatic transfer of the charge to a new occupier. The electricity supplier collects the Green Deal charge as agent and trustee of the Green Deal provider.

Electricity suppliers with less than 250,000 domestic and non-domestic customer accounts will not be obliged to collect the Green Deal charge but can opt in so as to not miss out on opportunities to serve customers with a Green Deal on their property.

Electricity suppliers that have chosen to remain outside the scheme will be able to opt in at any time.

Consumer protection

There are a number of important consumer protections that are intrinsic to the Green Deal. Green Deal plans are regulated under the Consumer Credit Act 1974. This provides important rights and protections, including cooling off periods and rules around exit arrangements and early repayments.

Measures for all domestic Green Deal plans

For domestic customers, repayments will be no more than what a typical household should save in energy costs, known as the ‘Golden Rule’ of the Green Deal.

The qualifying measures must be eligible and the estimated bill savings must be worked out in the manner set out in the Framework Regulations and Code of Practice.

The measures installed must have been recommended for that property by an authorised Green Deal assessor following an assessment.

The measures must be installed by an authorised Green Deal installer. For householders, the Green Deal provider must give appropriate advice and take account of the individual circumstances of the applicant.

The Green Deal provider must have consent from the relevant parties, including the express consent of the current electricity bill payer.

The presence of a Green Deal must be properly disclosed to subsequent bill payers (eg new owners or tenants) by providing the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). If the new bill payer believes the Green Deal plan was not disclosed, they are entitled to complain to their Green Deal provider within 90 days of first being notified of the plan and if their complaint is upheld, they could be relieved of liability for Green Deal repayments. After 90 days the provider will have no obligation to deal with their complaint and the bill payer will therefore be liable to make Green Deal repayments while occupying the property.

Energy suppliers must collect the Green Deal charge in line with the existing regulatory requirements for collecting electricity bill payments, including protections for vulnerable consumers, and pass it on to the Green Deal provider.

At least once per year, Green Deal providers will send customers statements of their account, showing how much they have paid off and how much they have left to pay. Customers can request statements of their account and a copy of the Green Deal plan at any time from their Green Deal provider.

You can download a copy of the quick guide on consumer protection for the Green Deal.

SME participation in the Green Deal

If your business is involved in supplying and installing energy saving products you can get involved in the Green Deal. See our guide on how your business can benefit

Energy Companies Obligation

The Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) supports the installation of energy efficiency measures in low-income households and areas and in properties that are harder to treat. It works alongside the Green Deal to give consumers support and funding for energy efficiency improvements in their homes. Find out more about how the ECO works and access tools and guidance.

Guidance and advisory resources

Green Deal Code of Practice

A revised version of the Code of Practice for Green Deal participants was issued on 23 June 2014 - it substitutes and revokes the Green Deal Code of Practice issued on 31 July 2013.

Energy efficiency measures

Information for the Supply Chain on Green Deal Measures sets out how Green Deal measures are described within the assessment tools and when the tools will recommend the measures in question.

Green Deal: deciding on the best energy saving home improvements for you is aimed at helping customers understand the energy efficiency measures available to them under the Green Deal and how they can maximise benefits from them.

How the Green Deal will reflect the in-situ performance of energy efficiency measures sets out DECC’s approach for increasing confidence and consumer protection around the energy savings that can be achieved from installing energy efficiency measures used for calculating Green Deal finance.

Which energy efficiency improvements qualify for Green Deal finance sets out the final list of eligible measures for the launch of Green Deal and explains the measures framework.

Green Deal consumer research: segmentation

This report presents findings from a research project that looked at a domestic customer segmentation for the Green Deal. It divides the population of owner occupiers and private renters needing energy efficiency measures into 6 key segments based on their:

  • potential interest in the Green Deal
  • attitudes to home and the environment
  • motivations and barriers towards energy efficiency and their demographic characteristics.

It also explores which messages and communication channels might be most effective to reach them. The ‘Carbon Savers’, ‘Money Savers’ and ‘Convertibles’ show the greatest potential for Green Deal. This report may be useful to Green Deal Participants and others interested in encouraging people to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.

You can download:

Green Deal consumer research: incentives

This report details findings from a joint study designed to help DECC understand the most effective form and level of incentives in driving interest in the Green Deal. This work helped to inform the design of the Green Deal Cashback scheme.