By Marcus Leach

The Property and Energy Professionals Association (PEPA), an industry body representing leading organisations in the provision of energy information and advice, is urging the Government to re-think its plans for the full introduction of the Green Deal in October this year.

PEPA, which has responded to the Green Deal consultation (which closed yesterday — 18/01/2012), has raised a number of concerns relating to current plans for non-domestic buildings and as a result, is urging the Government to consider a staged introduction of this new framework.

While PEPA and its members feel confident that the Government’s plans for domestic buildings under the Green Deal are well advanced, it is concerned that there are still a number of unanswered questions and unresolved issues with respect to implementing the Green Deal for non-domestic buildings.

Rather than delay or jeopardise the entire introduction of this new framework, it is urging the Government to introduce a staged implementation model, which will see the framework for domestic buildings introduced as scheduled, followed by an introduction for non-domestic buildings at a later date, when any potential issues have been addressed.

“We are strongly behind the Green Deal and the significant improvements that it could make to the energy efficiency of the UK’s buildings," PEPA Chairman Stephen O’Hara said.

"However, with such a pivotal new framework, it is imperative that the Government gets it right from the off-set. It was evident from the recent consultation process that while plans for domestic properties are well advanced, there are still a number of unanswered questions relating to non-domestic properties. As such, we feel that more time needs to be spent to address these concerns and to make any necessary revisions.

“However, rather than delay the whole introduction unnecessarily, we are urging the Government to go ahead with the framework for domestic buildings as planned, while introducing the scheme for non-domestic buildings at a later date. This approach will allow homeowners to begin benefiting from the new framework as soon as possible, while allowing the Government more time to ensure that plans for non-domestic homes are robust, before they are introduced.”

PEPA is a strong supporter of the Green Deal and has worked closely with both Government and industry players, as part of the recent consultation process. The precedent for the proposed staged implementation process has already been set by the introduction of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) back in 2007. The EPC was first made mandatory for domestic buildings, followed by non-domestic buildings at a later date.

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