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B&Q looking for Green Deal Advisers to sell products

Press release (as Vice Chair of DCHI) in response to concerns over the role of B&Q in Green Deal and how Green Deal Advisers can be impartial when they are employed to sell products

There is clearly a conflict of interest situation created when the Green Deal Advisor is employed by an organisation that has a vested interest in the outcome of advice given. While it is not necessarily inevitable that this will be a problem, it is something that has to be managed very carefully.


There is a requirement for the Green Deal Advisor to act independently during the advice stage even though they are not independent. The training and assessment process reflects this but the concern has to be that pressure from an employer to achieve sales targets will force Green Deal Advisors to cross the line to keep their jobs.


We have to remember that the whole purpose of Green Deal is to get buildings in the UK made more energy efficient. That is a major task which requires a lot of resource and without the involvement of organisations like B&Q it will not happen. Their support for Green Deal is a positive factor for driving the take up of energy efficiency measures and is to be welcomed. The key thing however is that it must be done in a way that does not distort the process or disadvantage customers; the last thing DCHI wants to see is a mis-selling scandal hitting this crucial initiative once it gets underway.


Personally I am still slightly surprised that the government was not more receptive to offering a dual path to Green Deal. The suggestion was for there to be "independent" Green Deal Advisors whose advice could be relied upon to be unbiased and portable. There would also be "tied" Green Deal Advisors who would be able to offer Green Deal Funding for the products their company sold; provided the occupier, property and energy efficiency measure qualified. That would have given transparency to the system and the customer the freedom to choose who they trusted.


Fundamentally DCHI wants to see Green Deal work, and we hope that organisations like B&Q will deliver it with sufficient integrity to make sure it does

1 July 2012

Ian Sturt DipHI, DipNDEA(L4), Dip DEC

Vice Chair DCHI

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