Neil Schofield: Green Deal can take the sting out of the cost of home improvements.

Government urged to use heating supply chain to ensure Green Deal success

Published:  16 April, 2012

LONDON: The Government has been urged to actively engage the heating industry supply chain if it wants the Green Deal to succeed.

Responding to a keynote speech by the Deputy Prime Minister at a meeting in London, Neil Schofield, head of government and external affairs at Worcester, Bosch Group, welcomed the Government's commitment to the Green Deal and the announcement of an extra £350m a year to deliver heating and insulation measures to 270 000 low income households.

"The Green Deal can take the sting out of the cost of home improvements, but I would urge the Government to use the heating supply chain to help deliver success," he commented.  

"Installers can become the lead generators for the Green Deal.  Only installers, who are invited into people's homes, have the ability to upsell and convince consumers of the merits of the Green Deal.  

"The boiler can be the sprat that catches the mackerel.  We need installers to be asking the question of homeowners, "Why don't you do some other work while you are at it, while I'm fitting your new energy-efficient boiler?"

In his speech, the Deputy Prime Minister pledged that no consumer will have to pay back more than their energy savings generate.  "The Government's Green Deal, which we'll begin rolling out in the autumn will offer businesses and homeowners energy-saving home improvements but at no upfront cost. 

"Customers will have energy-saving measures installed in their homes by trusted suppliers from high street brands to local traders. We'll ensure customers are never charged more for the home improvements than we expect them to make back in cheaper bills. And, the charge is attached to the property, rather than the person, so if you move, you stop paying. That is maximum affordability, with savings that should more than cover costs," he said.

In a Q&A session after the speech, the Deputy Prime Minister revealed his own personal contribution to energy-efficiency: the Clegg household has fitted a very highly efficient new gas boiler.

Mr Schofield concluded: "I am delighted that the Deputy Prime Minister has himself recognised the benefits of installing a new energy-efficient boiler. The Green Deal is a real opportunity to help others make a similar change, but that will require a change in the mindset of the consumer to embrace finance packages tied to energy savings. I would urge the Government to use installers to help make the case."

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