What about tenants? What does the Green Deal mean for them?
Tenants may well be approached by one or more Green Deal Providers offering (probably free) assessments. These Providers do not have to go through their landlord and do not have to be approved by the landlord to carry out an assessment. Once agreed the tenant would then receive an Occupancy Assessment and, subject to meeting the Golden Rule, consider an offer on a Green Deal agreement for the work in their properties.
The work needs the consent of both the tenant and the landlord. The landlord can seek for the work to be delayed if they are planning similar work. The Green Deal Provider then carries out the installation.
Tenants should seek advice over the best use of their new installation to maximise savings.
The tenant then repays for the work through their electricity bill. This should still result in a lower overall energy bill in line with the Golden Rule.
It is important that landlords, when they have agreed their approach to Green Deal, employ a communications strategy to ensure that tenants know about the Green Deal and how the landlord proposes to work with tenants. This needs to cover both the initial assessment period and the subsequent installation. The precise nature of the communications approach will vary depending on the approach of the landlord.
In addition landlords may also want to consider the role of local Tenant Champions being trained in the Green Deal and able to offer impartial advice to members of their community.
Given that there are 250,000 jobs expected to be created and the emphasis on getting social tenants into work through both welfare reform and changes to tenancies, then tenants would be an obvious source for those jobs to be filled. Recent research showed that social landlords often thought more widely about supporting employment in the communities where tenants lived rather than focusing on tenants themselves.
The two most obvious sources of jobs for tenants are being trained as Green Deal Advisors (which might build on the Tenant Champion role) and working on installation works. The final possibility for tenants is setting up and running their own social enterprises to deliver aspects of the Green Deal.
Author: Phil Morgan