posted by Brad Hook on 17 November 2011
Since the Green Deal Conference that took place in September quite a lot has happened so we have a lot to update our partners about.
1. Development of our Project
As expected, the landscape is emerging at quite a pace even in the matter of a few weeks. We have had a further Core group meeting in Southampton in October (minutes of Core Group meeting).
One of the key outcomes is the recognition that whilst many partners are keen to actively see the Green Deal CIC develop, the reality of competing workloads means it can be difficult for some Council officers to find time to develop the project.
USEA understands this and our view is that we will take a more proactive role to undertake more of the research and development for the project to drive it forward.
Quite a few partners have asked whether there will be different levels of involvement with the Green Deal CIC. Membership will be available on the following basis;
Founder Member – A partner taking an owning and governance stake in the CIC. This will be in the form of the partner appointing a nominated person to be a Director of the CIC and taking an active role in the decision making of the CIC.
Investing Member – a partner who invests funds in the CIC on the basis that it will add to the Green deal available to householders/businesses in their area and/or it will give an investment return over a period of years.
This may be of particular interest to those Local Authorities who wish to stimulate the local economy. An investing member may also be a founder member.
Affiliate Member – a partner who does not become involved in the governance/ownership of the CIC nor does it invest funds in the CICV. It would however adopt the CIC’s Green Deal as the default option for its residents and businesses and direct customers to it.
We will shortly be issuing a new proposal for partners to describe how Local Authorities can be involved in more detail.
2. Further Meetings
We have participated in an exploratory meeting involving a grouping of Councils in the East of England where there is a desire to become involved in Green Deal via a possible CIC structure.
That grouping has been invited to take part in our CIC and a representative of that grouping has been invited onto the Core group to have an input and feedback to those partners in the East.
This is consistent with our approach that we will encourage those with similar plans to come and look at our own scheme and to join if they wish.
We have also been invited to take part in the Low Carbon Oxford Green Deal Working Group where a forum of the public sector, social housing, academics, retailers and practitioners are considering the possible application of Green Deal within Oxford.
Of particular interest is the emergence of an area based approach to ‘low carbon zones’ where effort can be concentrated.
3. DECC/NEA Support
DECC alerted us to the support programme they are funding via NEA (National Energy Action) which will assist a small number of Local Authorities in developing their GD plans with 20 days of consultancy support.
We worked with Neil Walker from Watford Borough Council put together a proposal that will benefit the whole consortium. I am delighted to say that we were successful and the initial meeting will be taking place later this month.
This support will particularly assist us in the areas of data sharing protocols, local activity for addressing fuel poverty and the role of ECO (Energy Company Obligation).
We expect that the Green deal consultation will be issued any day now. When that happens we will prepare a synopsis of the key points that we think need particular attention. Watch this space!!
5. Meeting with DECC
Greg Barker, Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change, invited us to meet with him and other senior officials to discuss our plans for Green Deal. We were very encouraged by what the Minister said as it reinforced the fact that our consortium approach is consistent with how government see Local Authorities taking a leading role.
Additionally the Minister was very alert to the interests of smaller installers so that they don’t become marginalised by the emerging market. We know that this matter is a concern for many partners and being able to ensure that smaller local installers can build their business within Green Deal is a key aspect of local economic development.
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