CSE, the Green Deal and ECO

Local potential and provision of the programme

Project duration: October 2011 to July 2015

"The Green Deal is a hugely ambitious 20 year plus framework for a long term solution to improving energy efficiency ...  the largest and most ambitious home improvement programme our country has seen since the second world war.”

This was Greg Barker, Minister of State at the Department of Energy and Climate Change back in June 2011. Here is how DECC itself describes the Green Deal on its website.

CSE has taken a keen involvement in the Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation. In October 2011, a full year before the Green Deal launch, we ran a conference with Severn Wye Energy Agency to "explore opportunities to create viable, locally beneficial provision of the Green Deal". Since then our former Head of Household Energy Services, Phillip Morris, has contributed to the government's Green Deal Maximizing Energy Efficiency Forum and sat on the MP-led 'Hard-to-Reach Panel'.

We have also looked at the theoretical potential of the Green Deal and ECO for local delivery. To this end we've undertaken an analysis of English Housing Survey (EHS, 2007-08) data to understand a little more about the nature, geography, occupancy and general characteristics of the country's hard-to-treat housing stock, as well as exploring ways to deliver Green Deal and ECO at a very local level with the 'Green Deal Local Incubator'.

Our Green Deal and ECO schemes
In the summer of 2012 we launched the Somerset West Home Energy ECO pilot, which tested many of the Green Deal principles. Based on the understanding obtained from this scheme, in December 2012 we began work on the Bristol Home Energy Upgrade. This trailblazing 'Green Deal go-early' project tested Green Deal principles and, importantly, developed the local SME installer market. This programme was supported by Bristol City Council and funded by the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

Hot on the heels of the Bristol Home Energy Upgrade we launched, in partnership with Bath & North East Somerset Council, the Energy@Home Starter; a fully fledged ECO scheme that used CSCO and HHCRO funding from Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE). Using a network of local Green Deal certified installers we have helped households to take advantage of available funding.

Our new Head of Household Energy Services Ian Preston described the Energy@Home Starter as a“fantastic opportunity for local installers to tap into ECO funding and develop their experience in compliance administration.”

Our referral programme
We're a charity with a focus on tackling fuel poverty and cold homes, so our focus until recently has been on the CSCo and Affordable Warmth aspects of ECO, and our scheme model is based on a customer-led approach. This means that the customer, once their assessment has been completed, can choose from an exclusive list of Green Deal certified installers.

Spring of 2014 sees CSE embarking on a new referral programme that will bring together the knowledge and experience of the schemes team, our fantastic energy advice service and installers throughout the South West to ensure that households who need it the most, gain from funding opportunities and go on to install a wide variety of measures which will help end the misery of cold homes.

The end result
Domestic low carbon refurbishment can significantly benefit the residents. This audio clip from BBC Somerset features Steve, a customer of CSE’s Freedom from Fuel Poverty project in rural North East Somerset, explaining how solid wall insulation transformed the lives of his family for the better.

Our 'schemes team' record their thoughts, experiences and lessons learned through these Green Deal and ECO pilot schemes on our Green Deal & ECO blog.

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