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RICS urges UK govt for a clear Green Deal strategy

UK: Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has urged the UK government to provide a clear strategy for the Green Deal in order to generate vital confidence in the scheme. According to the RICS’ press statement, whilst the Green Deal will be a useful way of funding improvements in the UK’s woefully energy-inefficient housing stock, the government’s plans will not provide the consumer with truly independent advice on the impact of proposed measures on the condition of the property, the building fabric and building performance.
The government must ensure Green Deal Assessors have the right professional qualifications and are independent of big providers like B&Q. A mandatory Home Condition Report before the installation of all Green Deal measures would be a low-cost way of providing the consumer with a clear understanding about what the proposed measures entail and the potential unintended consequences of not getting professional advice. The government should also clearly define what is meant by an ‘Independent Assessor’ to ensure the consumer has a clear understanding of any existing relationship or obligations with Green Deal providers.
The government’s plans are currently focused on those assessors who are working for the big providers rather than those who are truly independent. The proposals make it difficult for independent assessors, who are usually small businesses, to access this potentially lucrative market. RICS urged the government, using a very small part of the recently announced GBP 200 million of new Green Deal funding, to establish an independent body to gather requests for Green Deal assessments and to distribute these to the market, according to the suitability of assessors for each job. Much of the success of the Green Deal is dependent on how well government and industry participants communicate the benefits of the scheme to consumers. 
RICS urged the government to produce a clear strategy outlining how it intends to encourage take-up and what results this might deliver. This would generate vital confidence in the scheme, particularly crucial amongst small businesses, which would then drive consumer take-up. RICS members contact the consumer at all points in the market and will be key in cascading Green Deal measures and their benefit to the profession and consumers. 
Source: RICS