This week a five-figure bonus for the boss at the RICS leaves one of its full paying members raging, and the firm behind our article analysing Green Deal costs has some answers about its sums

Bad valuation

In reference to your story, ‘RICS boss Sean Tompkins bags £98,700 bonus’, as a full paying member of the RICS for almost 30 years, I am astonished at the payment of a large bonus on top of a very generous salary. As a QS working on the contracting side, paying a substantial subscription every year, I get little or no return on that investment. This is a point that I made directly to Louis Armstrong a number of years ago - but nothing has changed. The RICS needs to engage with and represent all of its members.

Jim Cunningham, via

Adding up the Green Deal

David Strong’s comments about the article “Green Deal: Does it add up for homes?” in Inbox last week questioned the assumptions behind the figures.

The cost data used in Green Deal calculations will always be specific to context. Our cost data was derived from our work with potential major Green Deal providers, who have a large opportunity for economies of scale when purchasing and installing products for thousands of properties. This offers significant cost reductions compared with the cost assumptions listed in the Energy Savings Trust (EST) report you reference.

Furthermore, while the upgrade measures listed in the EST report can meet the necessary U-value, there are simpler methods available to achieve the same result that are less labour intensive and require less material (albeit this may not offer the same level of finish in terms of aesthetics as the measures proposed by the EST). We analysed these more cost-effective approaches.

The DECC report you reference ascribes costs to time spent by the householder researching and commissioning work, potential replacement of bathrooms/kitchens, etc. None of these costs are captured in our work (or the EST report) as they are not directly linked to complying with the golden rule. This will contribute to the large disparity between the numbers presented in our article and those you quote.

To clarify your other queries:

  • It is accepted that solid wall insulation will affect gas consumption in a home heated by gas. Our article states that our case study house is heated by electricity.
  • The figures relating to the number of units with potential for passive flue gas heat recovery (PFGHR) came from DECC’s impact assessment. All of the recent modelling work undertaken for 2016 Part L regulations assumes the use of both PFGHR and condensing boilers.

The purpose of our article was to investigate whether DECC’s approach of focusing the ECO funding on solid wall insulation was sensible and whether there are other measures that should be promoted. We stand by our conclusion that the Green Deal has the potential to be a low cost source of finance. We suggest it would benefit from further investigation on which measures will be financed. Hopefully the response to DECC’s consultation will reflect this.

Phil Birch, associate, Sweett Group