Being A Green Deal Advisor
A prerequisite of the Green Deal is that property assessments are carried out by an accredited advisor. The role of the advisor is to visit the property in question, assess the energy performance of the building and advise on appropriate energy efficiency measures available. As an advisor you will have access to a list of energy efficiency saving measures approved under the Green Deal. You will also be expected to follow a strict Code of Practice that specifies the products, materials and building standards suitable for use with the measures.
Code of Practice
The criteria set out in the Code of Practice under the Green Deal will vary depending on each individual case but will include, for example, levels of training, appropriate qualifications, permitted sales and marketing practices, customer care processes and insurance warranties. Advisors will have to demonstrate that they comply with relevant Green Deal requirements and at all times display the Green Deal Official Quality Mark.
Green Deal Accredited Advisors will have to display the Green Deal Official Quality Mark.
Green Deal Assessment:
Is an Assessment Necessary?
An important factor of the Green Deal process is to have a Green Deal assessment of the property. By this households and business properties will be given meaningful and neutral advice regarding the energy effectiveness of their properties. This information is a relevant guide in informing users of making an enlightened choice in their decision of, is the Green Deal the correct option for them?
Information Regarding the Green Deal Assessment Process
Green Deal Domestic Sector
The appraisal for the above is explained in two sections:
1) An evaluation of the construction of the dwelling, which will result with an enhanced energy performance certificate.
2) An evaluation of the householders needs by estimating the needs which the occupant specifies, about how the current occupiers make use of the property. An evaluation provided by the householder about how the occupant uses the premises.
Building Fabric Assessment
Step one in this process is to review the make up of the premises to originate an EPC (Energy performance certificate). The EPC will have a list of suggestions to enhance the most energy efficiency of the property. The assessment will be arrived at by making use of a recommended instrument known as enhanced order. (Perceived as RdSAP).
The modifications to the approach will enhance the energy evaluation of the property and will present superior results on the benefits with the amended energy performance. This is required as a guide for the continual betterment of the methodology for future energy estimations and will promote the Green Deal Policy. Other amended deliberations are currently incorporated. They include flat roof and room and roof insulation, floor protection and dissipated water heat reclamation.
Further data includes articles which recognise the density of walls, more choices of walls, and the appreciation for more investigation in the building methods of stone walls, and the difficulty of managing cavity walls.
Provincial climate conditions will be employed for the estimation of all expenses and savings. Also a judgement to evaluate if there is suitable capacity for Green Deal Finance.
Assessment of Occupancy
The next measure to be included is to make use of added information of how the present occupiers utilize the dwelling. This assessment will take into consideration other indications of the foremost factors that are possible which are able to influence the use of energy in the household, these include:
People living there; the system by which the rooms are heated; the absolute temperature the property is heated to; the length of time of heating the property and a yearly consumption of fuel and guide to reliability.
The appraisal method for non household group establishments will fabricate upon the present SBEM system for manufacturing an EPC, which will evaluate the occupants who are in the building to manufacture an energy saving policy with recommendations. Also it has to cater for the default EPC inferences to be altered to a superior reflection of actual building use designs.
This different assessment will consider efficient administration routines; fuel duty information; and notable energy use where needed
The amalgamation of a further bespoke frameworked evaluation; categorical energy use
information as to how the building is used, which permits the consultant to provide the client with the most up to date advice to allow transaction resolutions to be carried out.
The Building Research Establishment (BRE) are evolving the Green Deal Tool, with a trial account of the BRE website.
How Does a Green Deal Advisor Become Qualified?
A certified consultant or advisor of the Green Deal Policy is any person that: Is able to fulfil the stipulations recorded in both the National Occupational Standards (NOS) for the Green Deal Advisors; is employed by a body which has been authenticated by the commissioned appointed company against the appropriate Green Deal Standard; is an assignatery to the Code of Practice; and who is registered on the Green Deal Register.
How Are Green Deal Advisors Paid?
To allow compliance, the attitude to remuneration of Green Deal advisors and the cost of assessment will be regulated by the market. Examination is proposed that to make sure a broad request a diversity of payment answers ought to be accessible. Immediately the Green Deal is created, the market will be supervised to make sure it is working efficiently
What Quality Assurances are in Place for the Work the Green Deal Advisors Do?
Green Deal assessment providers and affiliated members believe that any advice ought to be authenticated by a commissioned green deal certified body. These attested organisations will endorse a delivered certification in sequence with a Green Deal Scheme criterion that will reinforce both what is required of them and what is imagined of the associations/consortiums that deliver the evaluation services. The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS), has been commissioned to separately endorse the Green Deal certification bodies.
Requirements for Certification Associations and Companies Offering Advice
What is very near completion is the expansion of criterions for the two certified bodies that offer Green Deal Advice. These examples are obtainable to download and are progressing as part of an advisory move which was inaugurated last September.
These examples at this time are being scrutinised as a portion of the UKAS on going trials being administered now, with units of future certification companies under assessment, with the prospect of them evolving into Green Deal Accreditation. The outcome of these primary facts will be evaluated during the month of April 2012 and any advantages will be entered into the Scheme Standard.
UKAS have currently published further inquires from potential certification organisations to take part in the unveiling project for accredited certification of Green Deal Installers and consultation services. Requests were sent out in February asking for applications for the 20 DECC funded places in the roll out plan, and the last date for submission of these is 16th March 2012.
The ratings of companies on the rollout programme will begin in May 2012. Further information on the roll out programme [External link]
The outline criterions for both certification bodies and organisations that give Green Deal advice is shown below.
Download draft standards for organisations [filetype:pfd filetsize: 196.73kb
Download the draft standards for certification bodies [filetype;pdf filesize;154.87kb
What is the Criterion for Training to Become a Green Deal Advisor?
Training will not be forthcoming until the certifications modelled on the National Occupation Standards have been augmented and approved by Asset Skills
The NOS have now been endorsed by the UKNOS panel and are available on the Asset skills: National Occupational Standards for Property Services [External link] web pages.
Also a course of study to accompany the National Occupational Standards for utilisation by awarding organisations and providers of training has been developed. The syllabus will be advertised in the near future, and factors will be made available on this website.
It is forecast that learning providers will start to offer training that moves forward Green Deal Advisor Certification Qualification from June 2012.
More information will be given on directions for accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) in the near future.
Discussions are now taking place with Accredited Organisations and other companies involved in the development of a strong standard APEL foundation the will ensure that applicants are apportioned cred for appropriate experience or qualifications
How can a Person Become a Green Deal Advisor?
Employment of a Green Deal Advisor is illustrated in a number of routes. They could be: An employee who is salaried or a sub-contractor allied to Green Deal providers/installers; an unconnected, self employed Green Deal assessor appointed directly by the purchaser; a public/ tertiary official or agent of a civil society organisation funded (or independently funded) to distribute Green Deal assessments.
Capacity to Provide Green Deal Assessments
The chief roles of the industry are:
Green Deal Advisors
Certification Bodies that certify Green Deal Advisor Services
Learning providers who offer training to Green Deal Advisors
Green Deal Advisors
Green Deal Advisors have to be active participants of an official Energy Performance of Building Directive (EPDF) Accreditation Scheme for either Domestic Energy Assessors or Non Domestic Energy Assessors, (NDEAS), as to the relevant sector they propose to supply Green Deal assessments for. In Scotland it is a need that they have gained membership of an organisation approved and appointed by Scottish ministers in the fabrication of domestic or non domestic Energy Performance Certificates, as required. In addition to the adroitness and the capabilities that energy assessors require, DECC has worked alongside asset skills to advance National occupational standards (NOS) for Green Deal Advisors in conjunction with a syllabus which is publicly available, and gives more detailed knowledge that is required for the task. The (NOS) will be employed to develop certification and education and it is expected that providers of training will start to proffer training courses from June 2012. Routes are being surveyed for accreditation of Prior Experience Learning (APEL) and will be make provision for more aspects shortly.
It is believed that training will be given to Green Deal Advisors which will be accessible by June 2012. However, to prevent being mis-sold training, it is advisable to check this website for forthcoming updates on when instruction will become available.
Bodies of Certification
These bodies have to be assessed by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) to the guidelines of EN45011 and against a set of standards for the certifying the provision of Green Deal Advisor Services. Once accreditation is achieved, they are in a position to certify organisations who enlist Green Deal Advisors, who may be individual businessmen or bigger establishments. DECC is cultivating the Certification Body Specifications in conjunction with the work that Green Deal Advisor’s will be presumed to carry out, regardless of who they work for. These guidelines and specifications, which jointly are to known as the Scheme Standard are being analysed through a direction programme implemented by UKAS. Applications have been terminated for the UKAS pilot programme, but it is expected that widespread application for accreditation in this zone to be open from Feb 2012. More information will be given on applications on the UKAS website when available.
DECC and Asset Skills have been employed in tandem with Awarding Organisations and future providers of learning on the advancement of the NOS Green Deal Advisors will be approved by a body of Ofqual approved awarding organisations. These certifications will be authorized by Asset Skills.
Government Consultation – November 2011: Summary of responses
We have provided a government response to questions, grouped together, where appropriate, to address different aspects of the same policies.
Chapter 1: Assessment
The proposed requirements on Green Deal Assessors are set out in the main body and at Annex A of the Code of Practice. Do you feel that they support the Green Deal assessment by being clear and robust enough?
Summary of responses
357 responses were given to this question. These covered a wide range of issues which related to the assessment process, some responses were duplicated answers, to the question asked…
Covered there are 2-7. Further comments that were directly related to the question posed were provided by 219 responses. Most respondents thought some elements needed to be strengthened further but on the whole most requirements were heading in the right direction.
Responses related to the need for Green Deal Assessors to have specific skills over and above those currently required for producing EPC were strongest. The need for Assessors to have a more pathologic knowledge of the types of buildings e.g. heritage, listed and old buildings) was highlighted Also were some of the issues that can occur from certain measures of the installation to older properties.
Some respondents felt that the RdSAP/ SAP needed to be improved further as it was not good enough. Some respondents also felt that inducements to miss sell should be banned and more should be done to promote independence. Some called for complete independence and clearly defined impartiality
This is addressed in more detail under Question 3.
RdSAP methodology has made a number of improvements to provide better information on benefits of improving energy performance on the assessments of dwellings. These include:
- Waste water heat recovery and insulation, additional improvement measures.
- Extra measures for improvement, which include room in roof insulation, flat roof and floor.
- Recognition for more alternative walls and additional data items, wall thickness, and in the case of system build, stone wall and hard to treat cavity walls, there is a need for further investigation.
- Regional weather is to be used for calculation of all costs, savings and calculation of whether measures are likely to be eligible for Green Deal finance.
In addition, in response to calls for more Assessor knowledge of the pathology and types of buildings that measures will be installed into, we have added to the National Occupational Standards (NOS) and syllabus for Green Deal Assessors in answer to the response of calls which asked for more Assessor knowledge in the pathology of types of buildings that measures will be installed into. The range and complexities of construction types and issues are included. These are particular to older and heritage buildings etc. Documents on the Asset Skills can be found on website at: www.assetskills.org
Are there any requirements that may not be covered by the suggested approach that the Green Deal Assessors will need. These combine the National Occupational Standards (NOS) and Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL)?
Summary of responses
363 responses were received for this question. Out of these was a mixed thought, some who felt that the suggested approach covered all the areas needed. Others felt they could not comment in detail until they had seen a more developed version of the NOS.
Many respondents chose to simply comment on the kinds of skills they felt that Green Deal Assessors would need rather type of role the APEL should play or by how they should be assessed
A number of respondents stressed there needed to be a consistency of approach for fairness and consumer confidence with all certification bodies using the same standard and that there should be a mechanism in place to recognise existing skills. A view put forward was that the monitoring of the APEL route needed to be careful and robust.
To ensure that candidates qualifying for accreditation through this route should be able to demonstrate certification which would be of the same standard. As the Green Deal is completely new, candidates qualifying for accreditation should be able to demonstrate that additional learning required had been completed. Mixed views were stated.Green Deal standards, as the ‘Green Deal element’ is completely new. Some specified that a qualification should be required for this element while others stressed the importance of the assessment of the candidate being carried out by a suitably qualified evaluator.
A full set of NOS have been finalised since the end of the consultation. These can be downloaded at www.assetskills.org/PropertyAndPlanning/PropertyNOS.aspx have been approved by the UK NOS Panel and can be down loaded at www.assetskills.org/PropertyAndPlanning/EPBDGreenDealNOS.aspx. A detailed syllabus for the Green Deal Assessor (Advisor) qualification have been finalised and can be found at: www.assetskills.org along with a set of Qualification and Credit Framework (QCF) units for England and Wales.
‘Train the trainer’ courses and resource packs have been provided by working with Asset Skills to support learning.
To map existing qualifications against the NOS to provide for a clearly defined
APEL route, we have again been working with Asset Skills. This is to help anyone looking to be a Green Deal Assessor. These have been signed up to by major awarding bodies in this area and can be found at www.assetskills.org
Allowing for the market to determine payment of Assessors and cost of assessment, would there be any further requirements we need to be placing on
Assessors or providers in relation to (a) the cost of assessment (b) payment of Assessors, (c) declarations from the Assessor?
Summary of responses
There was strong support from the 364 responses for further provisions to enclose impartiality of assessment in the Green Deal process. A major concern expressed was lack of information provided to consumers was a major concern, this meant it was difficult to distinguish between impartial Assessors and impartial or tied elements of the assessment visit. Incentives were another major concern. These may provide an opportunity for Green Deal Assessors to adjust the assessment or use the ‘impartial’ advice to sell on behalf of a Provider.
Green Deal Assessors were asked as a requirement to be independent, by a small portion of recipients and prevented from being tied to the Green Deal Providers in any way.
Impartiality of the assessment process is essential. To ensure this standardisation of methodology and the quality assurance should be used.
The consumer should also have more access to information from completely independent Green Deal Assessors, The Government feels that after considering the case of Green Deal Assessors having complete independence, it ran the risk of restricting the market thus preventing the ‘one-stop-shop’ model and a smooth transition between stages of the Green Deal that our research showed that consumers preferred. In rural or remote areas this is even more essential as the cost per visit could be higher.
We will place additional requirements on the Green Deal Assessor to improve existing provisions relating to impartiality,
They will have to show,
- If they are acting, tied to a provider or as an independent. This will make possible for independents to differentiate themselves from tied Assessors;
- the payment route used, including whether commission is received for any part of their visit;
- the reason for their visit, including whether they are looking to carry out another function
Also the assessment and on whose behalf it is being carried out for (e.g. a quote) seeking permission ahead of this visit for any additional function.
Additional conditions will be placed on Green Deal Providers to ensure that payment cannot be withheld from an Assessor for an impartial assessment on the condition that it does not result in a sale. This should help reduce impartial assessments or pressure sells, the Green Deal Assessors may use as incentives in order to get paid for their assessment.
Do you agree with our proposals for a third party assurance and ensuring compliance for those providing Green Deal assessments?
Summary of responses
264 responses were received from this question. The majority of respondents supported the proposed approach to third party assurance. In particular the role of this assurance in constructing a trusted Green Deal brand. Concerns were expressed by a small number of respondents about the cost of signing up to the assurance regime could force small organisations out of the Green Deal.
Nearly a quarter of respondents expressed concern about proposals for Assessors to have at least 25 years professional indemnity insurance (maximum life of a Green Deal Plan) to cover their work. This was seen as impractical and potentially very expensive.
Responses focused on how important ensuring adequate arrangements for compliance, enforcement and sanctions were in place.
We are continuing to refine the Assessor certification standards, as there was a lot of strong support for the approach to third party assurance.
The audit regime being put in place as part of the standards has also been changed due to concerns expressed. This takes into account the size of the organisation in question and ensures smaller organisations are not unduly barred from entry whilst maintaining an effective Quality assurance process.
Witnessed assessments of Green Deal Assessors will be evaluated within the first six months of initial certification being granted. Available are further details in the draft Specification for Certifying Bodies certifying the Green Deal Advice Service 6. The audit approach will be closely monitored during the early stages of operation of the Green Deal.
In response to those operating in the industry in relation to the insurance period required of Green Deal Assessors, we will set 6 years, in line with feedback received in relation to best practice across the industry.
Is a shorter validity period for property transactions, more likely to meet the needs of the Green Deal process, rather than the current EPC validity period?
Summary of responses
Out of the 226 responses to this question, the majority of respondents agreed that the 10 year validity was unsuitable for the Green Deal. Respondents who commented further on the question, some also felt that where an existing EPC was used, it should be checked in every case. This would ensure that there have not been any material changes to the property since it was produced as this could have an important effect on the results of the EPC and the savings predictions from improvement measures.
Some of the other main reasons for the 10 year period not being suitable for Green Deal were that new and modern technologies would not be included the EPC. Also that the EPC should be rewritten following significant improvements to the underlying methodology, such as the revision to RdSAP for April 2012. A few respondents questioned about the occupancy patterns of the household which are important for accurately estimating, energy use. They raised the importance of using the latest fuel prices when estimating savings.
The results from these responses, have prompted us to retain our policy position that only those EPCswhich have been produced since 1 April 2012 may be used for Green Deal. In addition,we require that Green Deal Assessors confirm that no material changes have been made to the property since the original was produced. If improvements have been made which could change the results, a new EPC will be required. This will help ensure that all Green Deal Advice Reports are made using the most important and up to date information available. The EPC will be checked by the Green Deal Assessors when in the property, to produce Occupancy Assessment. This is required as part of the Green Deal Advice Report.
To provide an accurate assessment we are taking further steps including requirement of an Occupancy Assessment, to provide information, specifically for householders energy use. This will require a new EPC following installation of measures using Green Deal finance.
Will the approach of identifying and assessing non-domestic buildings, based upon the requirements and tools for Energy Performance Certificates, capture all business sectors and non-domestic buildings for which the Green Deal is relevant?
Summary of responses
There were 100 responses to this question. Over a quarter have been considered under Question 7. Many respondents felt the EPC/SBEM approach captured most building types sufficiently. Some respondents thought all relevant building types were capture, while others identified specific types of building which would not currently be captured in the approach and may need alternative ideas. In order to capture all buildings, only a few respondents thought that a new approach was needed. An equally small number of respondents suggested the use of Dynamic Simulation Models (DSMs) to access specific building types and those of more complex construction.
The SBEM will be continued to be used as a model but we have introduced much greater flexibility for Green Deal Assessors to change previously locked adaptions. This will allow assessments to be more bespoke and able to cope more proficiently with some property types. The potential will still be considered for modification of the SBEM for specific property types currently unable to receive EPCs. We will continue to allow for future iterations of the tool and methodology.
DSMs to be used for assessing more complicated building types.
Are there alternatives to the simple approach in providing savings for running cost in the non-domestic assessment that, we should take into consideration?
Summary of responses
To this question there were 196 responses. 37of these were provided from responses to Question 6.These respondents, most supported our approach, with a warning that the SBEM tool would need to be improved or lengthened. Two wider categories of improvement suggested were; the ensuring of the underlying methodology to be kept up to date and the latest evidence for supporting steps to account for operational and energy consumption data.
A lighter-touch approach was suggested by some respondents, a number of them suggesting DECs as a further alternative. One respondent proposed that assessments, not necessarily needing the software should be allowed to be carried out by experienced building energy managers.
It was suggested by a few respondents that Assessors would need higher levels of training, e.g. a level four qualification should be the minimum for all non-domestic properties Assessor.
Some respondents thought that regular cost issues should be brought into the Golden Rule calculations. These included Maintenance of asset improvements were included in this, as were potential savings in CCL payments; and inclusion of the social cost of carbon.
Due to response in the feedback, the iSBEM tool for Green Deal has been extended and improved in assessments, to include the use of operational, tariff and energy-use data. The improvements include the ability to change the EPC default values to adjust building use more accurately, also the calculation of a building energy management score; inclusion of fuel tariff data and historical energy consumption information. The latter can be taken from an existing DEC if available or energy bill records. Domestic RdSAP methodology, SBEM now accounts for regional climate variations and will be continually, updated on the usual basis This will account for latest evidence. Current iSBEM tool for Green Deal is the climax of several months of consultation on the BRE’s website 7, where interested parties were asked to download beta versions of the software and provide feedback.