The Green Deal is a British loan scheme with associated subsidies and incentives to encourage the purchase of energy efficiency measures. This paper describes the results of a recent “Mystery Shopper” study (funded by the Department of Energy and Climate Change) investigating advice being provided by different Green Deal assessors to a small sample (29) of households. Each household had four separate assessments (116 assessments in all), involving an Energy Performance Certificate, Occupancy Assessment and Green Deal Recommendation report. Each dwelling also underwent a fifth, reference assessment by assessors involved with the study. The results were compared to discern whether the Green Deal assessment process is providing consistent and coherent advice to the occupiers, for both predicted energy consumption and recommended measures. To supplement this data, a household survey was also conducted to record the experience of the occupants themselves; this included their opinion on the usefulness of each assessment, the duration of the visit and also allowed the team to compare the approaches of the four different assessors in each dwelling. The results demonstrate that, despite the use of standardised models, methodologies, and assessor training, the conclusions arrived at from the assessment process varied significantly with each assessment. Even quite basic input information (floor area, thermostat settings and dwelling orientation) was noted to vary bringing into question the quality of the advice emanating from these assessments. The results have implications for other countries following the EU Energy Performance in Buildings Directive, mandating the mass use of standardised energy assessments across a large number of homes. It is imperative that the process must undergo suitable quality control (relating to methodology, models, and those applying that methodology) if households are to have confidence in the advice from EPC-style assessments encouraging energy efficiency. More critically if, like the Green Deal, the household is being encouraged to invest large amounts of money in either upfront capital or long-term loans to fund the measures proposed by these assessments, then a lack of robust and reliable advice might have wider repercussions.
|Title of host publication||Proceedings of the European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (eceee), 2015|
|Publisher||European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|
|Event||The European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy Summer Study 2015 - , France|
Duration: 1 Jun 2015 → 6 Jun 2015
|Conference||The European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy Summer Study 2015|
|Period||1/06/15 → 6/06/15|