Recent research by Competitive Advantage indicates that a significant proportion of RSLs have plans to upgrade the energy efficiency of their properties, with many upgrades starting in 1 to 2 years. And with many of them interested in the Green Deal, as a possible funding mechanism, this is a combination not to be ignored, but will it be a winning combination?
DECC claim that the ‘social housing sector is well-placed to play a central role in delivering the Green Deal.’ Social housing is indeed a logical starting point. Properties are grouped together under a single owner, with most improvements being the same across a portfolio of properties.
Challenges of supply
But, as often the case with social housing, there are challenges. So what are these and how can product manufacturers turn them to their advantage?
At present the ECO Brokerage scheme does not allow for Local Authorities or other Social Landlords to trade directly with the energy companies for ECO subsidies, this is limited to Green Deal Providers. So they will not have direct access to the energy company subsidies.
For manufacturers to sell into social housing energy upgrades they will need to identify those RSLs who are planning upgrades and also ensure those organisations who are advising, mostly architects and sustainability consultants, are aware of the range of product options available. This means understanding how architects select sustainable products, a topic covered in our research Designing with Sustainable Products. Highlighted by this research is the need to have comprehensive product information on your website, read a summary in our blog What Architects want when seeking sustainable product information – 3 must-haves for your website
Another complication, which remains to be clarified, is the role of the tenant. The Green Deal works on the principal of the building occupant making the decision to upgrade and then paying for it via some of the savings on their energy bills. This is different to past upgrade initiatives where the landlord was responsible for all of the funding.
RSLs may want help explaining the benefits of different upgrade measures. This help might come from the Green Deal Provider, but the manufacturer could be another possibility, perhaps supporting the Provider. That means building as long a list as possible of benefits and then demonstrating the relevant ones to each member of the decision making unit, including a straight talking format for the tenant. For inspiration read How to market your sustainable building products – a lesson from those doing it right.
Although the information coming from the government has been a little fuzzy, clearly the Green Deal presents an opportunity for manufacturer, designer and contractor. As the new year begins think how you can get your business involved in the Green Deal. Get an understanding of take-up and make contact with RSLs, ALMOs as well as Green Deal providers.
Being part of the Green Deal may place you in a better position to weather the 2.2% decline in construction during 2013, forecast by the CPA.
Find out more about our reports:
The Social Housing Energy Efficiency research is designed to help you sell energy efficient products into the social housing upgrade market
100 telephone interviews were held with RSL respondents who comprised Local Authority, Housing Associations and ALMOs. The report includes 34 charts & tables and will help you understand how Regional Social Landlords:
- Will improve energy efficiency in existing housing
- Plan to use the Green Deal for financing
- Timescales for their upgrade programme
- Their attitudes to Fabric and Mechanical options and what is being considered
- The product selection process
- Who will influence their decisions
The report costs just £300.00 + VAT Purchase online Now!
Designing with Sustainable Products considers how Architects select sustainable products when designing non-residential buildings and the information sources they use. The report will enable you to:
- Sources of information used by Architects to identify sustainable products
- Understand which methodology they most commonly use when designing sustainable buildings
- Understand who Architects seek advice from when selecting sustainable products
- Know which sustainable elements Architects regularly use in their designs
- How BES 6001 influences their product selection
Research was conducted during June 2012. It comprises 150 targeted telephone interviews with Architects designing non-residential buildings, covering 7 sectors of the UK construction industry.
The cost of the report is: £275 + VAT Purchase online Now!
Buy both report for just £500 + VAT, a saving of £75
Purchase online Now!
- How to market your sustainable building products – a lesson from those doing it right.
- Green Deal Update
- What Architects want when seeking sustainable product information – 3 must-haves for your website