The government has confirmed social landlords will become accredited ‘Green Deal providers’ under its multi-billion pound flagship retrofit scheme, being unveiled today.
This will allow social landlords to compete for a share of a £7 billion a year private sector market by financing and delivering energy efficiency measures in 26 million existing homes.
Social landlords have spent the last few months unsure whether or not they would be able to partake as accredited providers alongside large corporations like Tesco, M&S and B&Q.
However the government has now confirmed social landlords will be encouraged to become scheme providers, potentially providing a lucrative source of new revenue.
This could be through partnering an energy company, offering services to the private rented sector or through distributing information.
A spokesperson for the Department of Energy and Climate Change said social landlords’ involvement as providers would not be obligatory, but that it was hoped that the financial and social benefits would be attractive enough to ensure high participation.
Climate change minister Greg Barker is planning a meeting with social landlords and charitable bodies at the end of January to discuss their role in the Green Deal.
Details of the scheme are being published today as part of the Energy Bill. It uses a pay as you save model where the upfront costs of the measures are met by investors, who are then paid back using the resulting savings in energy bills over 25 years.
While it was welcomed across the sector, there were warnings that private sector uptake would be muted unless concerns about finance costs and liabilities were addressed.
Paul King, chief executive of the UK Green Building Council, warned that ‘hoping that the Green Deal will simply “catch on” is very optimistic’ and stated that it was ‘critical that the finance is provided at sufficiently low interest rates’.