2012 – the year of the Green Deal
It's been a difficult year for the glazing sector, but the Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF), the leading authority for employers and companies within the glass and glazing industry, has remained positive and proactive on the developments of Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation (ECO).
Since plans for the Green Deal were first announced in May 2010, the GGF has been at the forefront of the discussions, actively engaging with parliamentarians, Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) officials and other stakeholders.
The GGF has been working to support its members by shaping policy and legislation in relation to a number of developments during the past year. Amongst the most significant of these are the Green Deal and the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), which could have an enormous impact on the glass and glazing industry.
The Energy Bill, parent legislation of the Green Deal and ECO, was introduced to Parliament in December last year, and received Royal Assent in October of this year. This meant that 2011 was a particularly busy year for lobbying on the issues of most significance to GGF members, such as the energy efficient value of windows; the importance of a whole house approach to energy efficiency; the need for carbon targets to be set to ensure the success of the Green Deal; and the vital need for companies of all sizes to be able to access this new market.
The GGF participated in cross-industry working groups and held numerous meetings with DECC's Green Deal team and MPs, including Greg Barker, the minister for energy and climate change who is leading on the Green Deal. Luciana Berger, Shadow Minister for Energy and Climate Change, proved herself to be a particularly supportive ally, tabling a number of amendments proposed by the GGF.
The GGF held a member summit in November to update and hear the views and concerns of its members. Since then all GGF members have been invited to contribute to the GGF's draft response to the long-awaited Green Deal and ECO consultation. With the response due in January; secondary legislation and accreditation processes to be introduced in spring; follow up sessions with GGF members throughout the year; and finally the launch of the Green Deal itself in October, 2012 looks set to be an even busier year for the GGF.
In view of the challenges ahead, the GGF will be setting up an internal Green Deal Steering Group in January to focus on the technical, political, commercial, marketing communications, financial and operational aspects of Green Deal to try and make it work for member companies of all sizes.
2012 promises to be a big year for the GGF and the Federation looks forward to serving its members by further contributing to the development of an effective and workable Green Deal and ECO.