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Trying to be a Green Deal early adopter

My attempt to be an early adopter of the Green Deal is on hold for now, because part of the government’s standard assessment software hasn’t yet been finalised.  Green Deal assessments were due to be happening from November, but apparently there’s been further delay this week. Most companies are not able to offer a firm date or are only offering assessments from January, when the financing becomes available.

I want to take advantage of the Green Deal. My home’s cold, single glazed and with solid walls that should benefit from internal insulation. It’s a pretty standard victorian property and there’s no planning or conservation restrictions to stop me improving it. I can’t afford the cost of making the insulation and glazing improvements myself, but am happy with the idea of repaying them off my electricity bill, and the ECO carbon money for solid wall homes sounds like it could be a generous offer.

I’d like to get some improvements this winter. I know the first financing offers from the Green Deal won’t come available til the end of January, so reckon if I can be first in the queue I might still get an early assessment, my installation done in February and will still see some of the benefits in the cold weather.

So the government says the Green Deal’s been launched and I’m trying to get my assessment booked.

First call to DECC’s Energy Saving Advice Service. Very pleasant and fairly knowledgeable, but they can’t offer any help beyond referring me to the assessor list on the Green Deal oversight body website which – based on my postcode – gives me a list of ten assessor companies I can call. It doesn’t actually make any difference what postcode you put in (I also tried one in Orkney), you get the same list of ten assessor companies.

There are two big companies on the list – British Gas and Mark Group – and the rest seem to be EPC (energy performance certificate) companies moving into the Green Deal space. The Mark Group line actually appears to be broken. The EPC companies I call are a mix of either answerphone messages or helpful and very apologetic staff who can only offer assessments “in a few weeks” or “in early January.” The problem, they explain, is the government’s software for the assessments, it’s just not ready yet. British Gas explains in more detail – saying they’d were hoping to be able to offer assessments from November but they can now only offer an assessment from late Jan.

[The Green Deal Assessment is a two stage process. The new, Green Deal ready, Energy Performance Certificate provides the assessment of the physical characteristics of the home and has been up and running since April. The bit of software that’s causing delays is that for the second stage assessment – the occupancy assessment – which will indicate how specific household circumstances will affect the Golden Rule. ]

The price I’m quoted for the assessments sound ok. But its going to be a while before i have a definite date for it to happen.