Speaking at Plumb Center’s Green Deal open day, held at the company’s sustainability building centre in Leamington Spa, he said that final legislation had now been put in place as the last legal hurdles are surmounted by government ministers.
A Green Deal ombudsman service and an oversight body have also been put in place to oversee consumer protection and the registration of Green Deal installers.
“Effectively we are giving the green light to the energy efficiency industry to begin gearing up. We are very much now under starting orders,” he said.
“On Monday we laid before Parliament the final pieces of legislation that will create the framework for Green Deal to go live in the autumn.
“We are going to make sure there is a carefully managed rollout because we see this as a long term programme so it’s only right that we get it right.”
Barker also used his speech to put fresh onus on the importance of getting businesses of all sizes signed up to the project and preventing larger companies from muscling out SMEs and individual installers.
He added: “Green Deal is a massive opportunity for businesses of all sizes but my personal priority is to see small businesses get their share too. Ensuring SMEs are able to deliver Green Deal to a high standard is absolutely vital – we see that as a way we can scale up things quickly.
“I hear concerns from SMEs that Green Deal could be dominated by big companies and that they will be locked out. Today’s event is about challenging that idea.
“I want to see a healthy, diverse market and hope everyone can be part of that.”