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FENSA publishes letter sent to The Times

25 Sep

This summer we decided to respond to an article that was published in The Times. In the article the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) implied that any window installation companies, and other trades involved in the domestic replacement sector, that were not signed up for Green Deal – and PAS2030 – were unlikely to provide a quality installation job.  We’ve asked The Times to consider publishing the following letter from FENSA.

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Dear Sirs

In a recent article published in The Times on May 2 The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) implied that any window installation companies (and other trades involved in the domestic replacement sector) that were not signed up for Green Deal – and PAS2030 – were unlikely to provide a quality installation job.

DECC’s actual words were: “The whole point in making people use approved companies is to ensure customers get the best service, installations are up to standard and we can audit it. This is public money — we have to be certain it is being spent properly and people are not being conned by rogue traders.”



FENSA, the largest glazing Competent Persons Scheme, on behalf of the installers of replacement windows and doors in domestic properties in England Wales, strongly refutes any such claim. We understand that a number of other trades agree with us.

The industry and Government are both well aware, that FENSA has implemented a raft of upgraded processes and standards over the last two years. These have included issues such as enhanced technical competencies for both installation businesses and individual operatives and consumer protection through mandatory Insurance Backed Guarantees.

These are all conditions set down by another arm of government – the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

FENSA registered businesses are also subject to a stringent inspection regime and are required to demonstrate the highest ever, technical competencies. All of this, contrary to what DECC claims, will provide consumers with the confidence that they will get a job well done.

FENSA is concerned that government departments seemingly are not communicating effectively with each other over a subject that is so important for all Competent Person Schemes in the building sector and which also has such a significant impact on the quality of work delivered for homeowners throughout the country.

FENSA in no way wants to denigrate the Green Deal initiative – it is a strong supporter of it and is in fact a Green Deal Certification body. However, claiming that only Green Deal approved installers can be trusted to deliver the goods is damaging to the many bona fide quality tradesmen who are carrying out home improvements to a high standard across the UK.

Yours Sincerely,

FENSA Managing Director

 

The Green Deal and the consumer

24 May

In previous blogs we have looked at the Green Deal and the installer. Since the Green Deal has now launched, what does it mean to the consumer?

It maybe you have heard of the Green Deal but are not very clear about how it functions or you may not have heard of it at all. Let’s learn a little more.

Basically it is a scheme initiated by the government to enable people to make energy-saving improvements to their homes without having to pay all the costs right away. The costs of the improvements have to be outweighed by future savings in energy consumption and consequently energy bills. This has become known as the Golden Rule. Payment for the improvements is then made through the property’s future energy bills.

Some of these improvements include double glazing, draught proofing and solar panels.

How is the Green Deal achieved?

The first thing that happens is an assessment of your property. This will produce a report which will explain what improvements could be made and how much that could save on energy bills. The important thing to remember at this point is that the report must comply with the Green Deal Golden Rule that the cost of the work must be outweighed by the energy savings.

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Ok, sounds pretty straight forward so far.

The next step is decision time. If you think the Green Deal is something you want to take advantage of, you will need to choose an approved Green Deal installer to carry out the improvements you have decided upon having.

In the case of double glazing, only companies who are certified by a Green Deal Certification Body (e.g. FENSA) against PAS 2030 to
become a Green Deal Certified Installer can install Green Deal measures.
Homeowners need to get quotes for Green Deal finance packages from Green Deal Providers who can be found at http://www.greendealorb.co.uk/green-deal-participant-register .  Of course you can get quotes from as many Green Deal Providers as you like.  Here is your opportunity to discuss with them what work you want done and whether the Green Deal is right for you.

So, how does it all get paid for?

Once all the decisions have been made your Green Deal contract will be drawn up. This will show the costs and interest charges. You should ensure you understand the repayment rules before you sign your Green Deal Plan. The payments are then made through your electricity bill.

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The Green Deal is different in as much as the actual costs of the improvements stay with the property not the individual.

Therefore if you move in to a property, it may have a Green Deal, so if you are the person who pays the electricity bill, you will continue paying the money back. This is because you will be benefitting from the lower energy bills due to the improvements already made.

Alternatively, if you leave a property with a Green Deal, you are no longer benefitting from the improvements so you stop paying for them.

There is information here if you would like to know more about the Green Deal and its benefits.

Update on the Green Deal for Installers

27 Jul

The Government’s Green Deal could have a significant impact on the market for replacement windows and doors.  However, as with all major, new initiatives, there is a lot of discussion and decisions taking place before the final product is launched. Inevitably, there is also dissent. You may have heard that the GGF was asked to take legal action against the government, as some people are worried the Green Deal will not benefit smaller companies. 

The GGF has decided not to take this action, as they feel it is better to continue working with the government rather than against it, as that way, they can better represent the double glazing industry and make the Green Deal work for all companies regardless of size, status or profile.

Therefore, given all the discussions and questions, we have put this blog post together to help our installers better understand what the Green Deal means for them. Please take a look and share it with your colleagues too. Any questions? Just add them in the comments box below and we will do our best to answer them

Just what is the Green Deal again?

Green Deal is the Government’s leading environmental initiative allowing homeowners to finance the installation of energy efficient windows and doors through the future savings on their energy bills.  But only Green Deal certified window installation companies can to do this work, operating through an official Green Deal ‘Provider’.

Joining the Green Deal

FENSA is able to offer its Registered Businesses the opportunity to benefit from any work generated by providing them with a quick and easy route to Green Deal certification and initiating the relationship with their Green Deal ‘Provider’.

The FENSA UKAS certification that we shared with you in June has allowed us to provide this certification process for the Green Deal back to our installers. If you are not sure of the details, have another look and refresh your memory.

The Green Deal Requirements

  1.  Window companies will need to be certified to PAS 2030.  This is a new BSI standard covering “Improving the energy efficiency of existing buildings and specification for installation process, process management and service provision.”  The full pack of the required documentation is available from www.BSigroup.com and costs £95.
  2. Green Deal certified installation companies will be subject to audits of management processes at their main office or place of business by registered FENSA inspectors.
  3. There will also be a requirement for full consumer protection insurance and processes to be in place.

Don’t want to sign up to be Green Deal certified?

That’s fine.Becoming a Green Deal Certified Installer is optional. However, it will give companies a commercial advantage when it comes to winning Green Deal work. Please remember, there are also new Competent Person Scheme requirements that are mandatory. You will have received an email but these are also detailed in this blog post. We will be providing guidance on these new regulations over the next few months.

So where does all this leave you, we hear you ask! The bottom line is FENSA will help Registered Businesses to sign up as a Green Deal supplier and take advantage of the Green Deal Benefits. We will soon be publishing our ‘Guide to The Green Deal’ and will be notifying our installers of the launch of the FENSA Green Deal sign up, by email, after the summer holidays.

So, as they say ‘watch this space’

FENSA granted Green Deal UKAS accreditation

27 Jun

You may have heard about the “Green Deal”, it’s the Government’s flagship policy for improving the energy efficiency of existing buildings in Great Britain. It’s based on a key principle that the cost of some energy efficiency measures pay for themselves over a period of time, in effect, through the resulting savings on fuel bills.

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Green Deal is a great opportunity for consumers

The cost of improving the homes efficiency isn’t a personal loan, rather it’s a debt held on the property. What that means is if you sell your home, the new homeowner takes over that debt with the Green Deal until payment is complete. This associates the green benefits of having the work done back to the house and its current owner, as opposed to the person initiating the work.

There are many areas within the home that fall under the Green Deal, replacement windows and doors being just one of them.

 

Green Deal Installers

Energy saving measures that are paid for via the Green Deal must be carried out by a certified Green Deal installer. These installers have to be registered under the relevant certification scheme for their trade, in the case of double glazing replacement windows and doors, that scheme is FENSA.

 

UKAS

As an existing trade certification scheme, FENSA had to be accredited by UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) to meet the Green Deal standard (PAS 2030).

As of the end of May 2012, FENSA is now in a position to certify installers to undertake Green Deal work when the scheme is launched in October this year (2012). The UKAS accreditation covers the following Green Deal measures:

  • Installation of Energy Efficient Glazing and Doors including replacement windows, doors, roof windows (sky lights) or roof lights in existing dwellings and existing buildings other than dwellings (excluding replacement of load bearing structural glass, glazed curtain walling or a revolving door).

 

Securing a good deal for FENSA Registered Businesses

FENSA and their sister company have been working hard behind the scenes for many months now with the Government, ensuring consumers and installers get the most from the Green Deal initiative. The GGF are in constant discussion with many potential Green Deal Providers, looking for ways to maximise access to the Green Deal for FENSA Registered Businesses.

For more information on the GGF and the Green Deal, please visit http://www.ggf.org.uk/green-deal-faqs