In its Green Deal consultation submission, sent to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) before the January 18 deadline, Worcester Bosch warned Government that commission-based assessors might be tempted to inaccurately sell Green Deal finance packages.
As part of its response to Government’s flagship green energy proposals, Worcester Bosch Group voiced fears about imprecise selling techniques and the independence of assessors, particularly those with current ties to retailers.
Neil Schofield, Head of Government and External Affairs for Worcester Bosch Group, said: “There are growing fears that assessment is the potential weak link in the Green Deal. We don’t want to be in a situation where homeowners are taking out Green Deal finance packages expecting a £50 monthly reduction in their heating bills to cover their loan, but are ultimately only saving £30, leaving them £20 out of pocket.”
“We can envisage a situation where homeowners are offered vouchers and other deals by assessors as an inducement to sign up for a Green Deal finance package,” he continued.
Worcester Bosch also shared concerns over the potential effect of commission derived from choosing a certain product or technology recommended by the assessor. “Unless the customer pays the full cost of the assessment upfront there will always be the risk that organisations will subsidise the assessment cost in order to influence the assessment. In this area the credibility of the Green Deal is potentially at stake,” Schofield explained.
Concerns are also beginning to mount in relation to the quality of the assessors and their ability to access specialist support when required. This is an issue Government is currently working to address through its Green Deal Skills Alliance.
Schofield said: “Our view is that Government needs to concentrate on regulating the quality of the assessment work. A standard assessment will be satisfactory in most cases but it is critical that the assessor is able to access specialist technical support if it is required.”
Worcester Bosch completed its submission by highlighting that importance of installers central role in the implementation of the Green Deal: “If the Green Deal is just about the big six utilities and the big high street retailers then the installer will be marginalised from the process.
“Homeowners still go to their installer for advice on heating their home, not utility companies, not heating manufacturers and certainly not retailers. If this is going to work then we need installers to be championing the Green Deal not relegated to the sidelines.”
The Green Deal rollout will begin later this year. Are you ready? Hear from industry specialists on the ins and outs of Government’s much-anticipated green policy at the upcoming Solar Power UK Roadshow: Coping with the Cuts – coming to a town near you. You can book your place here.