The existing British property stock is amongst the oldest and leakiest in the Western world and with energy prices soaring, the Government have stepped in to help with the launch of the Green Deal.
The Green Deal Assessment Report aims to transform the UK's building stock to make all properties warmer and cheaper to run, without households having to pay all of the upfront costs.
From February 2013, all householders (including homeowners, tenants and landlords) can to benefit from a Green Deal assessment and 'pay-as-you-save' loans for energy efficiency improvements to their property.
Covering everything from loft insulation and double glazing through to energy efficient boilers and renewable energy technologies, the cost of the installations are repaid through the savings on your utility bills.
New Energy Company Obligation grants (ECO) are also available for disadvantaged groups and hard-to-treat homes (including properties with solid walls or non-standard cavities) and integrates with the Green Deal, allowing an energy supplier subsidy for qualifying properties. This means that for some households, these new installations may be completely free of charge.
Green Deal funding are available for over 40 simple home energy saving improvements. And the Green Deal Assessment is the first place to start with the Green Deal.
The energy assessment looks at the ventilation, insulation, heating and water, recommending between three and five improvements that will reduce your energy bills.
The Green Deal includes more energy saving measures than any previous scheme, including the following commonly recommended measures below. The Green Deal assessment list can be found here.
Other heating systems including Electric Storage Heaters and Warm Air Units
As long as the home improvements pay for themselves in the savings they generate they can be fitted and paid for under a Green Deal Plan.Green Deal & ECO Funding
All homeowners and tenants will benefit from a comprehensive and impartial Green Deal Assessment of their property, and will be able to shop around between different offers in the market place. Customers can use the new Green Deal finance to pay for the energy efficiency measure up to the limit of the "golden rule" or the can use it alongside their own investment where they want other improvement measures which are not expected to generate savings on their energy bill.
Replacement boilers and upgrading or installing insulation are top priorities for homeowners, tenants and landlords. We all want to make home energy savings. And grants and funding to help cover costs are available following a Green Deal Assessment.
To access funding you will need a Green Deal Assessment and it must be carried out by a certified Green Deal Assessor. This is to ensure correct standards are adhered to, making sure energy bill savings are greater than Green Deal repayments following completion of installation work.
A Green Deal Assessment involves the Green Deal assessor visiting your home and looking at the building fabrication, existing energy systems (heating, lighting and water), insulation and also occupancy energy usage from historical energy bills.
The Green Deal Advice Report (GDAR) is produced following a Green Deal Assessment and is made up of an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and personal Occupancy Assessment (OA).
The OA is a bespoke analysis of energy use and cost of energy in your home. This is the ideal opportunity to ask the qualified energy efficiency assessor about how you can make extra energy savings at home.
Whether it is moving the position of radiators, sealing skirting boards, or fitting replacement doors, or if you are considering switching to a renewable energy system, the assessor can advise on extra Government funding and subsidies, like the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and Feed-in-tariff (FIT).
Following your Green Deal Assessment you will receive your GDAR, which makes energy-saving recommendations and tells you how much money you could save.
All GDAR’s must be completed by a certified Green Deal Assessor. Training to become Green Deal certified is rigorous giving customers peace of mind. Consumer protection is consistently and vigorously included throughout the Green Deal policy, which launched in January 2013.
The Green Deal is a pioneering scheme as it innovatively unlocks energy bill ‘savings’. And you can leverage these ‘cost-savings’ to pay for home energy improvement work, such as upgrading an inefficient boiler or installing cavity wall insulation.
A Green Deal Plan is a credit agreement and the amount that you can lend is calculated based on the ‘potential’ energy bill savings the improvement work will create, or ‘unlock’.
The greater your energy bills, the more savings you can potentially make which can be used to pay for installation work.
This calculation is controlled by the unique Green Deal ‘Golden Rule’ which stipulates that the loan ‘repayments’ must be the same or less than the projected energy bill savings.
A Green Deal Assessment will let you know which recommended measures are likely to be fully funded through the Green Deal, where their cost should be covered by the energy they save.
If you make energy efficiency improvements, such as a boiler upgrade, insulation installation or replacement doors, your monthly energy costs should go down. And even with a Green Deal Plan added on, your bills should still be less if not the same.
So, under the Green Deal scheme you will benefit from a warmer, less drafty, more comfortable and energy efficient home, yet you will have no additional costs.
The repayments are attached to the property electricity bill and once they are all paid, householders will certainly benefit from reduced energy bills also.
For homebuyers and sellers, it is also worth noting the potential of adding value to a property by investing in energy efficiency.
Consider also that the loan and the benefits of a Green Deal stay with the property, as the plan is attached to the property and transfers to a new owner upon change in tenure.
The Green Deal energy efficiency scheme is making energy-saving in the home available to everyone.
It uses more flexible financial credit checking, making the lending accessible to over 80 per cent of UK householders.
Now really is the time to stop paying excessively high energy bills and to relax with reduced energy dependency.
Even better still - some Green Deal measures also attract additional Government funding. The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is the one you need to know about. It’s a subsidy funded by the Big Six energy companies.
Householders interested in making home energy efficiency improvements or in reducing energy bills should contact a Green Deal Provider to find out about eligibility for ECO funding. Running until 2017, you may be eligible for a free replacement boiler or solid wall insulation under the ECO scheme.
Unlike access to Green Deal funding, an ECO grant is means tested to provide targeted support for low-income households and occupiers in hard-to-treat and rural properties to ensure vulnerable households are helped out of fuel poverty.
The Green Deal is available to anyone as it is not means tested but consumers are given protection by the strict Green Deal code of practice, administered by the Green Deal Oversight & Registration Body (ORB), and can be read in full here.
This is the Government’s cash-back scheme, and is available on a first-come-first-served basis to help promote the Green Deal. The GDHIF has proven very popular, and has been broken down into separate tranches of funding with different launch dates. More information on the scheme can be found here.
Support to keep homes warm and lower energy bills is also available on a community basis and it is worth contacting your Local Authority to find out if there are any local communities projects which often offer free Green Deal Assessments or insulation on a street-by-street basis.
Green Deal Assessments
An independently approved Green Deal Assessor will assess your home to help you decide if the Green Deal is right for you. If it is, they will make recommendations for improvements.
You will then receive a Green Deal Assessment pack confirming what is being recommended and how much you could save on your energy bills. You can request a quote from any approved Green Deal Provider.
Green Deal Quotes
Using the quotes you receive (derived from your Green Deal Assessment); you can compare the cost of the improvements and the repayments. You can then decide which, if any, improvements you want and which approved Green Deal Provider you want to install them.
Your chosen Green Deal Provider will arrange for the measures to be installed by an approved Green Deal Installer. This work will be quality assured and carry a warranty.
Then, enjoy a more comfortable home! Your Green Deal Plan charge repayments will be added automatically to your electricity bill. Click here for tips on how to maximise your energy savings.
As a consumer, where do you stand and where can you find out more. Here at Green Deal Central we can help you sort your ECOs (Energy Company Obligation) from your EPC (Energy Performance Certificate).
You need to have an assessment to see if you qualify for Green Deal Finance and what home improvement measures can be installed on your property.
A Green Deal Assessor will visit you in your home, talk to you about your property and your energy use and help you decide if you could benefit from Green Deal improvements.
To give you an accurate assessment, your assessor (who is sometimes called a Green Deal Advisor) may ask you numerous questions such as:
The cost of the improvements will depend on the price quoted by Green Deal Providers. All of this information will be provided to you in a Green Deal Advice Report.
Your assessor should give you an understanding of the types of improvements you could make to your home. But they should also give you various documents such as:
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) showing the energy use of a typical household of your type, plus suggestions for improvements.
An Occupancy Assessment (OA) showing how your household uses energy
Some recommendations for reducing your energy use and the savings you can expect from the improvements
What should I do next?
You can start getting quotations from a future Green Deal Provider such as Green Deal Central. This service will be launched in the new year.
We will be able to recommend specific products, goods and services, and then give you a quote for the cost of the work and enter you into a Green Deal Plan.
Green Deal Central can provide the conditions needed for entering into a plan, such as the rate of interest and repayment amounts.
Once you’re happy we can write up a Green Deal Plan contract which outlines the repayments, including the fixes interest charges.
Repayments will be fixed and will include costs associated with the administration and provision of credit for the Green Deal Plan.
Repayments will be based on what a typical household is expected to save on energy bills. The Green Deal is designed to try to save you at least as much money as you will have to repay.
However the actual level of your savings will depend on how much energy you use and the future cost of energy.
But if you use less energy than a typical household you can, if you want, you can take out a Green Deal Plan based on the typical savings shown on the Energy Performance Certificate.
However, then your repayments are likely to be higher than your savings and therefore your energy bills are likely to go up overall – at least in the short-term until the installations are paid off.
Green Deal Central can discuss whether your payments should be reduced, in line with savings you’re likely to make.
Green Deal repayments will be collected by the electricity supplier and passed on to the Green Deal Provider.
Once a year you will be sent a statement and you can request statements. You can also pay back the plan early, but that may incur a charge.
The Green Deal Plan stays part of the property so the new occupier will be responsible. The EPC on the home will detail whether there is a Green Deal attached to a home.
If you are the new bill payer and believe you were not informed of the Green Deal Plan, you should dispute the charges with your Green Deal Provider within 90 days of first being notified.
You can switch supplier under the Green Deal and the new supplier will take on the Plan.
There is an important rights and protections procedure which applies under the Consumer Credit Act 1974. This gives you a cooling off period and rules around exit arrangements and early repayments.
If you have an further questions then feel free to see any of our handy guides or contact Green Deal Central.
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