Nearly two dozen organisations, a third of them small to medium-sized companies, today 'signed up’ to be the first providers of the Government’s Green Deal.
At a meeting hailed by Climate Change Minister, Greg Barker, as a "watershed moment" for the Green Deal
, 22 companies signed a Memoradum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government this afternoon, pledging to work with the Coalition to kick-start the Green Deal. Most are big business, but more than half a dozen are small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), two of them start-ups.
"The signing of this agreement between Government and business pioneers represents a watershed moment in the development of the Green Deal," Barker said. "The commitment shown today highlights the opportunity organisations see in the Green Deal from community groups, SMEs to big business which only bodes well for the scheme’s future success.
"We will be working with these organisations to ensure they can fulfill the potential they have demonstrated today and become the first to offer Green Deals."
The Green Deal, which is set to launch on October 1, will enable homeowners and businesses to access loans for loft and cavity wall insulation, lagging and other energy efficiency
measures. The Government says it will see billions of pounds lent every year and create 250,000 jobs between now and 2020.
Green Deal and SMEs
Ministers have said they want SMEs
to play a major part in delivering the Green Deal, but concerns have been raised that they could be squeezed out because of 'red tape’ and other costs associated with the scheme. Today’s MoU provides some assurance that SMEs are being given an opportunity to get a share of the market.
In all, seven SMEs have signed up to today’s MoU. They include CarbonLow, which specialises in the energy performance of buildings
, sustainability consultant Stroma, social enterprise company Yorkshire Energy Services, solar company Ampere and Green Deal start-up Toriga Energy. ReEnergise Finance
is also a start-up that has launched to provide specialist finance for companies looking for funding for renewable
energy and energy efficiency projects.
Adam Hewson, director at ReEnergise said: "We believe The Green Deal represents an important element in the overall drive to reduce carbon emissions and improve the UK's overall energy efficiency. It is also a natural part of ReEnergise's business model – combining energy advice, project management and finance. Signing this memorandum of understanding is therefore a very sensible reflection of this strategy."
Brendan Ashford managing director of Ampere GDP added: "I believe the Green Deal is an exciting opportunity for both the customer and construction industry; it opens the door to many more home owners, tenants and businesses who may have deemed it too expensive and are concerned about tying up cash on a new boiler, windows or renewable energy products before.
"At Ampere GDP we will be offering energy efficiency surveys and installing the measures to all sectors across the UK by a network of local qualified energy assessors and installers to the customer."
Other organisations that have signed up to the Green Deal MoU are Anglian Home Improvements, British Gas, Carillion, Enact Energy, E.ON, Gentoo Group, Grafton Group, Insta Group, Keepmoat, Kingfisher, Mark Group, SIG plc, SSE, Willmott Dixon Energy Services and community group Empower.
Green Deal guide
As well as the MoU, the Department of Energy and Climate Change has today published a 'Green Deal guide for Providers’ providing step by step practical advice for organisations interested in becoming Green Deal Providers.
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