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Have you considered becoming a Green Deal assessor? Steve Fisher explains the role of the Green Deal Advisor (GDA) and the steps required to become one
The Green Deal is nearly upon us, scheduled for launch this autumn and designed to improve the energy efficiency of Britain's homes and businesses. Not only is the Green Deal a great offer for customers; it is also an opportunity for firms with the right skills to compete in a new market, with DECC indicating that the Green Deal will drive billions of pounds of investment over the next decade.

The Green Deal needs Advisors, tasked with assessing properties in order to make suggestions for improvements made under the scheme
GDAs are an integral part of the Green Deal, providing information and support to building owners looking to improve the energy efficiency of their home or business.

More specifically, the GDA's role will be to identify and promote how individual property owners can reduce their energy usage through alterations to their building, covering everything from insulation and renewable energy technology installation to changes in behaviour - such as turning off the lights and not leaving equipment on standby. Effectively, the GDA holds the key to the gateway of the Green Deal - no one will have access to this scheme without a qualifying assessment.

Becoming a GDA is a good option for commercial heating and ventilating engineers who may have the required background in energy assessment. If you're already a member of an Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) accreditation scheme for either Domestic Energy Assessors (DEAs) or Non-Domestic Energy Assessors (NDEAs), then a move into the Green Deal should be straightforward.

This pre-requisite ensures candidates have the technical capabilities to collect data regarding a property's dimensions, construction and services, in order to generate an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). EPC's were revised at the start of this year to clearly encompass energy efficiency measures which may be eligible for Green Deal finance.

Existing EAs looking to top-up their training to meet the desired Green Deal standard, can undertake recognised training (of which UTN delivers).

Our two-day GDA course covers the following topics:

  • How to provide information to customers on the principles and operation of the Green Deal


  • How to provide information to customers on the principles and operation of the Green Deal


  • How to prepare and issue Green Deal Advice Reports


  • How to explain the Green Deal report to the customer


  • How to provide information to customers on Green Deal financial arrangements


  • In addition to examinations, as part of the assessment process, candidates will be required to submit a portfolio to the certification body responsible for their training. This must include evidence of business skills and sample EPCs and Green Deal Advice Reports.

    Commercial installers wishing to deliver Green Deal assessment specifically need Non-Domestic Energy Assessment to level 4 - this includes practical experience of property surveying. The assessment method for non-domestic buildings builds upon the existing SBEM methodology for producing an EPC, taking into account the way the occupants use the building to produce estimated energy savings and recommendations.

    As well as changing the default EPC assumptions to better reflect actual building-use patterns, the new assessment factors-in energy management practices; fuel tariff information; and historical energy consumption data, where available. The combination of a more bespoke fabric assessment; actual energy use data; and information about how the building is being used should allow the GDA to provide customers with the best possible information to make investment decisions.

    The Building Research Establishment (BRE) is developing the Green Deal tool; a pilot version is available at www.gdtool.bre.co.uk
    If you are not already qualified as an energy assessor, there are longer courses which encompass this element. UTN delivers a five-day programme. Energy assessors, taking their training after October this year will automatically cover Green Deal elements.

    Getting Britain's buildings up to scratch when it comes to energy efficiency is a massive task that should provide years of work for both Green Deal assessors and installers. To encourage operatives in related fields to make the move into delivering Green Deal services, the DECC is waiving Green Deal registration until the third year, when a fee-based system will be introduced: this incentive, and a predicted surge in interest when the scheme first becomes available, makes now the perfect time to get ahead of the pack when it comes to relevant training. The Green Deal register will be available to join from August this year.

    Many of your existing customers will be looking to this scheme to upgrade their properties and save money on their fuel bills; make sure you've got the right skills to take advantage of what promises to be a massive boost to our sector.

    // The author is chairman of UTN Training //
    6 August 2012

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