DECC supports CSE to build on the successful PlanLoCaL approach

The Green Deal, which launches later this year, is designed to underpin the most significant upgrading of UK housing stock since the Second World War. Millions of homes are expected to be made more energy efficient through measures such as insulation, boiler upgrades and improved heating controls.

CSE believes that enabling communities to participate effectively in Green Deal will be a key factor in the success of this flagship initiative. Informed and organised community groups can:

  • build consumer interest and demand for Green Deal and low carbon refurbishment;
  • create social norms around low carbon refurbishment;
  • ensure offers being made to local households are appropriate for local properties;
  • back-up Green Deal installations with advice and support around minimising disruption and helping households ensure the measures achieve their anticipated impact.

“And not only can community groups help bring warmer homes and reduced energy bills to their neighbourhoods” says CSE’s Bridget Newbery “but they could also earn revenue from their involvement in Green Deal to support their broader community objectives.

“The more ambitious and resourceful groups may even develop social enterprises to train and employ local people to fulfil some Green Deal functions, for example as contractors to accredited installers.”


But to have an opportunity to play these roles, community groups – and local authorities who want to support them – need to:

  1. understand Green Deal and its associated rules and regulations (including the Energy Company Obligation – ECO);
  2. be familiar with the energy saving opportunities in the local housing stock;
  3. appreciate what’s involved in fitting the main energy efficiency and heating measures available under Green Deal and the behavioural responses needed from households to ensure they deliver savings;
  4. develop skills and knowledge to communicate energy saving information and organise local initiatives to make low carbon refurbishment feel like ‘what we do round here’, and;
  5. appreciate the financial value being generated through their work (and the Green Deal more widely) and negotiate effectively with Green Deal partners.


Getting ‘Green Deal ready’

Now the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has provided a grant to CSE to develop a resource for community groups to help them to meet these needs. The resource will enable groups to develop the knowledge, confidence and understanding to prepare effectively for Green Deal and stimulate low carbon housing refurbishment in their neighbourhoods.

The resources will be developed following the successful approach we have developed for our PlanLoCaL community renewables resource , and will draw on the high quality learning already embedded in that work. CSE will also review local community initiatives funded under DECC’s Local Energy Assessment Fund (LEAF) to showcase examples of neighbourhood initiatives already leading the way.

In 2011, CSE ran conference, jointly organised with Severn Wye Energy Agency, to "explore opportunities to create viable, locally beneficial provision of the Green Deal". You can read about this event here.

You can read more about how CSE is engaging with this radical development in Government energy efficiency policy here.

Article  reproduced with permission of CSE.