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Small energy companies reluctant to offer Green Deal finance

Posted by NicoleYouGen on 8 May 2013 at 9:12 am

If you are with a smaller energy supplier, you may have to switch companies in order to get Green Deal finance through your bill. Some smaller suppliers are signed up, but some are strongly against the Green Deal, while others are waiting to see how it goes before taking part.

So which companies have signed up?* Sainsbury's Energy and M&S Energy have both signed up, through their energy partners (British Gas for Sainsbury's and SSE for M&S, both required by law to participate). Opus Energy and Green Energy UK have also signed up. 

Spark Energy, LoCo2 Good Energy, Ecotricity, Cooperative Energy, Utilita and Haven Power are not signed up. 

Good Energy says it has decided to wait to see how the scheme works in practice and may join at a later date. A spokesperson said: "We took this decision because the Government very much designed it around the needs of the Big Six energy suppliers, and didn't take into account how the scheme would work in practice for smaller suppliers... Their business operations are designed around millions of households, rather than tens of thousands. Clearly if the costs of implementing the scheme are spread over a greater number of customers, then they are less for the larger suppliers."

A spokesperson for Ecotricity said: 'We do not feel we are in a position to participate given the current cost and design of the scheme. Energy efficiency is of course hugely important. But as it stands, we believe that our time and customers' money is better spent "turning bills into windmills".' Ecotricity and Good Energy are two of the UK energy companies dedicated to renewable energy generation.

The Cooperative Energy's Business Development Manager Nigel Mason wrote in Cooperative Energy's blog (with the disclaimer that the views are his own and not necessarily the company's): 'I think the Green Deal is a great concept, but it's been designed by economists, not people who understand how reticent we are about big capital projects and major household disruption.' He argues for a less prescriptive solution to the issue of reducing energy demand: paying people for energy savings, and allowing entreprenuerial responses. However, he did not tell us whether or not the Cooperative is likely to participate in the Green Deal.

Haven Power has said they are monitoring the Green Deal closely in order to decide if they will join in the future.

The Green Deal finances energy efficiency measures with repayment built into your energy bill, which under the 'golden rule'  should not be more than the difference in your energy savings from the improvements. The big six energy companies are required to offer Green Deal finance to customers, but smaller energy companies were given the option to 'opt-out' in an effort to ensure that they maintain competitiveness.

*Companies contacted who did not respond: Ebico, Corona Energy, Dong Energy, Dual Energy. 

More information about the Green Deal from YouGen

Green Deal information page

Is the Green Deal right for me?

How do I pay for home energy efficiency improvements?

Cold callers and the Green Deal: what you need to know

Photo credit: nickname

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