Knauf Insulation becomes founding member of Green Deal Finance Company
Published: 30 March, 2012
ST HELENS: Knauf Insulation has joined other well-known companies to form the not-for-profit organisation, The Green Deal Finance Company Limited (TGDFC). The organisation aims to deliver low cost financing available to households from Green Deal providers, facilitating the installation of energy-efficiency measures that underpin the Green Deal framework.
TGDFC has been working closely with DECC – and through it the Green Investment Bank and the European Investment Bank (EIB) – as well as with a wide range of local authorities that may become members in due course, with a view to maximising its assistance to the Green Deal market.
By operating at a national level, TGDFC intends to minimise the operating and administration costs of the Green Deal and will aim to access the cheapest sources of finance in the market at the highest possible credit rating.
Steven Heath, external affairs director for Northern Europe at Knauf Insulation, commented: "TGDFC represents a vital piece of the new Green Deal landscape and Knauf Insulation is happy to play its part in TGDFC's incorporation, helping to minimise the cost of finance to all future accredited Green Deal providers. "The Green Deal has the potential to radically transform the UK's housing stock, enabling homeowners to install energy efficiency measures with no up front cost – which is currently a big hurdle for many struggling householders. However, if loans are not set at affordable interest rates from the beginning, it will be more difficult to meet the Golden Rule."
A key part of making the Green Deal work is that future Green Deal Providers – the companies that will make energy efficiency improvements – should be able to access the cheapest possible underlying source of finance, to maximise the value they can bring to customers.
"With a national aggregator now in place in the form of the TGDFC, there is a good chance that manageable interest rates for home energy-efficiency improvements will be available from the early days of the scheme," said Mr Heath. "The finance agreements are just one aspect that needs to be in place to ensure the Green Deal's short and medium-term success.
"We believe that fabric improvements are vital if better heating systems and renewables are to be effective, but a balance needs to be struck between solid wall and other insulation upgrades.
"As it stands, some 75% of the new regime of subsidies, known as the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), is to be targeted at solid wall installations, because the cost of external wall insulation cannot meet the Golden Rule. This means a remaining six million homes with cavity walls and a staggering 8.5 million lofts, will still need to be addressed. These are the measures that can provide a 'quick win' in their effectiveness for cutting carbon emissions, as they are easy to execute.
"An industry transition period for installers and manufacturers is crucial to permit additional homes to benefit from extra insulation, while safeguarding jobs among the many small contracting companies currently involved on CERT work."