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:
- Properly Insulating your home – This is especially a problem when we look at older homes compared to modern ones. If your home is not properly insulated you could in fact be wasting a high amount of money annually on your heating bills without even realising. The Green Deal allows insulating your home to be done as this is one of many of the home improvements the government are offering. Insulation will include flat wall insulation, cavity wall insulation and loft insulation.
- Water Heating – One of my favourite home improvements we can make to the home comes with water efficient taps and showers that are going to be funded by the Green Deal. These systems mean that the water is only heated when in use saving you money along with decrease the carbon emissions within your home.
- Energy Efficient Lighting – I think most of us will admit that we are suckers for leaving lighting on in and around the home, and as well as turning lights off when they are not in use. With the Green Deal we will be able to have lighting fittings and lighting controls installed allowing us to monitor how efficiently we are using our lighting.