The construction industry and the Green Deal


What is the Green Deal?

The Green Deal has been described as a flagship government initiative that’s designed to improve the energy efficiency of Britain’s properties. In fact, it has been hailed by ministers as the biggest home improvement programme since the Second World War. Under the Green Deal, the government plans to save energy while making the country's homes warmer and cheaper to run.

How will it work?

First proposed back in December 2010 as part of the coalition government’s Energy Bill, the initiative will allow private energy firms to provide energy saving measures (such as double glazing, loft and wall insulation) to help improve the energy efficiency of our buildings. Qualifying households will have no upfront costs and will pay back the money using the savings made on their energy bills. With that in mind, suitability for the initiative will be depend on the predicted savings that the energy efficiency improvements will make i.e. they must equal or exceed the cost of the work.
As of autumn 2012, participating energy utility companies (which are expected to include some big retail names such as Tesco and Marks & Spencer) will provide qualifying customers with quality-assured energy efficient improvements, without the need for personal loans.

What does this mean for the construction industry?

The scheme aims to make 26million homes more energy efficient by 2030 – which is good news for homeowners, the environment and for the construction industry. The success of the scheme will be highly dependent on having the sufficient number of skilled professionals available to put the proposed plans into action. With stuttering economic conditions over the past few years, this could be just the injection of opportunity needed in the construction sector. The question is, can the construction industry meet the demands of the initiative and supply the skills required?
Towards the end of 2011, ConstructionSkills (the Sector Skills Council and Industry Training Board for the construction industry) along with partners Asset Skills and Summit Skills – under the Green Deal Skills Alliance – carried out a series of roadshows across the country to help small and medium sized businesses understand the Green Deal and how to exploit the new market. The move came after they secured £1.4m to help employers take advantage of commercial opportunities around the low carbon agenda.
It’s important for both organisations and individuals in the construction industry to recognise the changes and possibilities that the new green agenda will mean for them. It’s advisable, where possible, for construction professionals to equip themselves with any additional training required to help them benefit from the upcoming surge in eco-efficient practises.
For more information on our current construction jobs, or to discuss your hiring needs, contact us today.