After years of planning and talking, the Green Deal, the governments flagship energy-saving scheme, is now up and running.
The aim of the programme is to make our homes warmer and cheaper to run, without people having to shell out large sums of money upfront.
How does it work?
Its a scheme that allows people to pay for home improvements over time, through their electricity bill. The aim is that the cost of the work will be covered by the savings you’ll make as a result of having the measures installed – though this is not guaranteed. And there is government cash back on offer.
Energy-saving ones. Around 45 different improvements are currently eligible for the Green Deal – they include double and triple glazing, a new boiler, cavity wall insulation, solid wall insulation, floor insulation, draught-proofing, a new front door, new or replacement storage heaters, and loft and hot water tank insulation. Wind turbines and solar panels could also be eligible, suggests the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC).
Sounds intriguing – do I have to hand over any money upfront?
Maybe, maybe not. The government previously said householders would be able to have the work done “at no upfront cost”. However, you have to have an assessment done first, and these will typically cost £75-£120. British Gas is charging £99, for example. However, the cost may well be waived if you use that company to do the work. We found one firm, Mark Group, which said it would offer assessments free of charge, and there will probably be others.
Aside from the assessment, you shouldn’t have to cough up any cash upfront. For the Green Deal to work for a household, the estimated savings on their bills must always be more than the cost of the work done. To put it another way, the annual repayments must be less than the amount they will save per year through lower energy costs.
How do I pay for the work through my electricity bill?
You take your assessment to a Green Deal provider there are at least 24 ready now – go to greendealorb.co.uk providers and they will give you a quote. If you are happy, you’ll sign a contract.A Green Deal plan is a new type of unsecured loan, with interest charged on top, that is attached to the electricity bill. They last for a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of 25. Once you’ve signed on the dotted line, the repayments are fixed and will be collected by your utility company via your electricity bills and passed on to your Green Deal provider.
With the Green Deal now in place home owners now finally have the chance to make their homes energy efficient with added incentives. Within the home there are many ways in which we can improve our carbon footprint, here are three of the best home improvement’s we can make: