Launched in January 2013, the Green Deal is the biggest government home improvement programme since WW2. It’s main aim is to massively reduce the country’s carbon dioxide emissions over the next few year.
In the summer of 2014, 85 Green Deal plans were being sold per week. This year, that figure has hugely increased to over 500 GD plans sold per week and the government aims to have 1.1 million homes to have a Green Deal by 2023.
For plumbers and installers, these figures should indicate that it is of utmost importance to become an approved Green Deal Installer as soon as possible. As the public are becoming more aware of the initiative, they are increasingly seeking out certified Green Deal installers, so becoming approved could provide an extra boost to any plumbers’ business.
To become approved, you can go to the Government’s Green Deal Website or approach an accreditation body like Napit or Stroma, who will advise you on all the necessary steps that need to be taken. Cost of training is, on average, between £400 - £600 but you can easily make this back on one big job.
The great thing is that there are 45 ‘measures’ under the Green Deal for residential properties, which means there are plenty of reasons for an approved installer to be called out to take care of them. From insulation, installing boilers, solar panel installment, setting up heating controls and more, all are covered by the Green Deal and all require accredited installers to carry out the work.
It needs to be made clear to customers that they usually won’t need to pay the complete bill for the works carried out, often just needing to pay a small percentage and in some cases, nothing at all. Additionally, homeowners should understand that the Green Deal is not a loan to them personally, but to their property. Any loan repayments are made via the savings made on the household heating bills, not directly from their bank accounts. From a homeowner’s point of view, is a great way of making energy efficient improvements to their home without having to fund it themselves.
From an installers point of view, once you are accredited and are advertising yourself as an official Green Deal Installer, you need to align yourself with a Green Deal Provider to make sure you have access to the funds and the jobs.
Once this is done, you can decide how you want to proceed with what you offer as a Green Deal Installer. You may wish to become a generalist, whereby you offer a broad range of plumbing and heating services. Or, you might like to specialise in certain areas such as boiler and heating control installation. Specialising may well be a better option as it means you can have greater control over the jobs you take on without diluting your income by hiring in additional help, though the final decision is yours.
With more and more plumbers getting approved under the Green Deal, it makes sense for you to jump on board as quickly as you can, so you can offer this service and get access to all the extra lucrative jobs this initiative offers.
Article by Benjamin Clarke