What is the Green Deal?
The Green Deal is a new initiative launched by the government in October 2012. It aims to encourage homeowners to make their homes more energy efficient without having to pay an upfront fee. It is not a government grant, but a financial package of up to £10,000 to spend on energy saving measures. These measures could include insulation, double glazing or a new boiler. In total, there are currently 23 options to choose from. The finance package is not considered a loan, as the repayments are attached to the property and not the individual.
How Does it Work?
The first step will be a home visit by an accredited Green Deal assessor, who will examine your home and provide recommendations for the best home improvements to help lower your energy bills. If interested, you will be offered a quote for a Green Deal Plan.
Once your home improvements are fitted, you will begin your repayments. This will usually be done via your utility bill. A home metre may be fitted and your repayments will be calculated on the savings made from your new home improvements. Under the scheme, you will not pay back more money than you are saving on your bills each month. If, for example, you have insulation fitted, and this saves you £11 per month on your heating bills, then your repayments will be less than £11 per month.
Who can Apply for the Green Deal?
The government wants the Green Deal to be available to almost everyone, both homeowners and tenants. If you are a tenant, you will need the consent of your landlord. Businesses of all sizes will also be able to apply for the Green Deal without having to pay an upfront fee.
The Green Deal will be known as a finance plan and will be attached to the property where the improvements have been undertaken. It is not a personal loan and is not means tested, so the applicant will not need to undergo a credit rating assessment when they apply.
When Can I apply?
The scheme was soft launched in Autumn 2012, but households can get work done from the end of January 2013. However, it will be essential to have a home assessment by an approved assessor before you can proceed. The cost of the assessment will be included in the repayments on the deal which will be attached to your utility bill. If you are considering any energy efficient measures for your home, such as insulation, it is advisable to wait until the launch of the Green Deal so that you can benefit from the scheme. It is unlikely that any improvements made before the scheme is launched will be eligible for the repayment plan.