The Department of Energy and Climate Change has announced that multi service provider, Gemserv, will run the new Green Deal oversight body. The company will be responsible for the registration of assessors, installers and providers as well monitoring compliance with the Code of Practice.  

The department said that: “Gemserv, with their partners REAL, has been chosen to provide these services on behalf of DECC for the next three years following an open competition. Both Germserv and REAL currently operate the MCS scheme for DECC so are well acquainted with the challenges and requirements involved in operating a scheme of this nature.”

The service is set to start in August ahead of the planned introduction of the Green Deal later this year.

Importantly, DECC has announced that there will no longer be any fees for assessors, installers and providers who wish to get involved in the scheme. The department will foot the bill for the registration and oversight service for the first two years of the energy efficiency scheme, with the intention of moving to a fee-based approach once the Green Deal has become established.

Reacting to the news, Energy and Climate Change Minister, Greg Barker, said: “We need to make sure all the Green Deal assessors, installers and providers get our stamp of approval to ensure the highest level of consumer protection for householders and businesses under this scheme. I am delighted that Gemserv has risen to the challenge and is going to take on this very important role.

“No registration fees for the first two years will remove burdensome admin costs at a time when many can least afford them, helping encourage organisations to get onboard and offering more freedom of choice for consumers.”

David Thorne CEO of Gemserv said: “We are delighted to have been appointed as the Green Deal Oversight and Registration Body and are looking forward to playing a central role in implementing and developing this ground breaking programme.

“Gemserv will be able to draw on our strong experience of delivering the MCS scheme, maximising the synergies, and we hope to begin discussions shortly with key industry participants to ensure we are prepared for the Green Deal’s launch. We are working closely with our delivery partner REAL utilising their extensive consumer protection experience.”

In addition, to the appointment of an oversight body, the department has announced that Ombudsman Services Ltd will become the provider of the Green Deal Ombudsman and Investigation Service. This will remain a free service that is designed to help alleviate disagreements between customers and Green Deal providers.  

The department said: “The Ombudsman will investigate complaints and determine redress for consumers. Depending on the type of complaint, following an investigation, the Ombudsman will refer cases to the Secretary of State for determining redress or imposing sanctions.”

Chief Ombudsman Lewis Shand Smith said: “The Green Deal is a new concept to householders. Consumers taking up the Green Deal can be confident that if something goes wrong they will have easy access to independent and effective redress.

“We already provide the ombudsman service for the energy (supply and network) industry and its customers, to it makes sense for complaints about Green Deal providers to come to us. We’re looking forward to working with DECC on the details of the scheme.”

This new service will be up and running by October 2012 and is an important part of the Government’s approach to assuring consumer protection under the Green Deal.