This week the Government launched the Green Deal scheme aimed at encouraging households to become more energy efficient. So what is it and is it worth joining?
What is Green Deal?
- Green Deal allows households to borrow money to install energy saving measures into their properties. Double glazed windows, boiler upgrades, loft or cavity wall insulation are all covered under the scheme.
- it is envisaged that the cost of borrowing the money will be more than offset by reduced energy costs
Who is providing the finance for Green Deal?
- If you decide to sign up to Green Deal then the loan is provided by approved Green Deal providers with repayments made through your energy bill
- The interest rate has yet to be set but is expected to between 6% and 8%
- The loan will be attached to a property rather than an individual and will remain with the property if you should move.
- The arrangement will have to be declared early on in any sale to allow a buyer's mortgage provider to make a lending judgement based on all the facts
Are the savings under Green Deal guaranteed?
- No, although most improvements should reduce the cost of energy
- If, however you live in a property that is not fully utilised, or heated, then the full level of savings may not be realised
- All energy saving proposals must meet the official 'Golden Rule' - that the expected financial savings must be greater than the cost of the improvements
What is the Green Deal application process?
- In the first instance contact the Energy Saving Advice Service 0300 123 1234
- They will arrange for a fully accredited Green Deal Advisor to visit your property to carry out an energy saving assessment
- They will provide a full report outlining your options and the best energy saving improvements
- If you agree to go ahead then the Green Deal Advisor will arrange for a Green Deal Installer to carry out the work
Will I have to stay with same energy provider?
- No, you can still change energy providers, as you do now, your old provider will just inform your new provider of the Green Deal arrangement
Are there any incentives to join the Green Deal?
- The Government have just launched the Green Deal Cashback Scheme to incentivise early adopters of the scheme
- Eligible customers will receive cash payments once they have had the energy saving measures installed
Where can I get more advice on Green Deal
- The Energy Saving Trust has comprehensive articles and advice on the Green Deal
Green Deal sounds like, on the face of it, a good way of making energy efficient improvements to your property. However, as with anything involving borrowing money, you need to investigate it properly and make an informed decision. Once you have fully investigated the recommended options I would only sign up to Green Deal if one, or all, of the following apply
- You plan to stay in your property for a number of years
- You cannot afford to pay cash for the improvements
- You utilise, and heat, the whole of your property
- You are confident that the estimated savings are realistic in relation to the cost of repayment of the loan