Google analytics

Monday 28 January 2013

Is the Government insulated from reality?


Today is the day that the Government’s new strategy to drive people into paying large sums of money for turning their own houses green. Today is the start of the “Green deal”.

This little paragraph shows how it is to be achieved. (I don’t normally read the Guardian).

You need a green-deal assessor who works for a green-deal adviser organisation to undertake a green-deal assessment of your house, which will result in a green-deal advisory report. This will be lodged with a green-deal provider who will devise a green-deal plan. The work will then be undertaken by a green-deal installer to standards overseen by the new green-deal oversight body.”

Which brings me to the question. How qualified are these green deal assessors? And of course how much will the administration cost? (A topic for another day)

Not very well in I would suspect. The course is for three days only and this is what they cover.

EPC Training offers a 3 days fast track Domestic Energy Assessment training course including Free Green Deal Registration which can also be taught over 3 successive weekends for those with busy schedules and other commitments. The training course is based around the Level 3 DEA City & Guilds Diploma and is suitable for those with no previous experience of the energy or construction sector.

What does the DEA training course include?
  • 3 days classroom based training covering all aspects of domestic energy assessment
  • City & Guilds registration and assessment fees
  • Free Green Deal Registration
  • Train on RDSAP software to produce a Domestic EPC
  • Live property assessments
  • All training manuals and follow up technical support
  • Refreshments throughout the course

Note that it is only three days for all of the above and those that have no experience in energy or construction. In that case anyone with little or no experience in materials can apply.

I suspect the assessor will be armed with a clipboard with a form containg simple questions which will not accurately assess the property in question.

For instance:

Has the property got loft insulation?

In my case the answer would be NO, and my property would be down rated. However my house does not have a loft although the roof has been well insulated when I had the roof renewed.

Has the property cavity walls?

In my case No. However they are of double brick construction of superior brick. I’m sure in their three day course the assessors don’t get taught any of the science required to evaluate the heat transfer rate through my walls. (I remember spending at least two days being taught heat transfer through materials).

Does the property have double glazing?

Will they actually inspect it thoroughly? When double glazing was in it’s infancy, most was of a pretty poor standard compared with today. But Hay Hoh, another box ticked.

Does the house have a fireplace?

Quick tick to mark the property down. However in my case, I have a balloon in the flue to seal it off when the fireplace is not in use. Will they ask me? Probably not.

Well, you get the gist. But not is all bad. At least they get free refreshments whilst they’re on the course.

Of course once the householder has the certificate they can then apply for a loan to cover the improvements to be installed.

Will it be explained properly, that the loan stays with the house rather than the current owner? I hope so. How many selling their property a couple of years later, find that potential buyers shy off when they realise that they are being saddled with someone else's loan?

I fear that it will end in tears for some. The whole scheme is predicated on the presumption that the energy saved will allow the householder to pay back the loan. However the Government is set on course to continue massive green policies, involving heavily subsidised Bird Mincers Wind turbines and photo voltaic panels, and that the energy costs will most assuredly be going on the up for the foreseeable future. (Some estimates suggest an increase of £700 by the end of this decade).

In my opinion, this may drive some well meaning households into fuel poverty by then.

Mind you vast amounts of right thinking persons have signed up to the “Green deal” so it must be me that’s wrong.

Err. As of last week the huge sum of TWO was reported. Mind you, this week the take up, had increased exponentially to FIVE.

Well that’s me done for the night. Talk amongst yourselves. I’m off for another whisky and a ciggie.