How The Governments Green Deal Can Help You To Save Money

The Green Deal Scheme

The UK government's free home insulation initiative. In its place is the Green Deal scheme which achieves the same purpose, and much more, by using a different approach.

Under Green Deal, energy companies will meet the up front cost of installing specific energy efficient measures in your home. You pay back the cost through your electricity bills on the understanding that the energy savings generated by the installed equipment will always more than cover your repayments. A parallel scheme with similar aims, run by ECO (Energy Company Obligation), applies only to energy consumers on benefits.

 

Green Deal Energy Bulb If you are in reciept of income support, jobseekers allowance, or pension credits, then the chances are that you will be eiligible for a free boiler under the ECO scheme, and therefore the Green Deal is not really the best option for you.

How does the new Green Deal scheme operate?

Green Deal allows you to enjoy the benefits of energy-saving products, which will make your home warmer, more comfortable, and cheaper to run, without having to pay out for equipment purchase and installation costs. These charges for your energy improvements are added on to your electricity bills but because your home will then be more energy-efficient, your actual energy usage will be lower. It is that projected cost saving which 'pays' for your new installation – your outgoings should not increase at all, and are very likely to reduce.

Green Deal Application

Making a Green Deal application is a four-stage process: Assessment > Finance > Installation > Repayment.

1. Assessment

A Green Deal Advisor, also known as an Assessor, visits to carry out a home energy efficiency assessment - most retail suppliers of home heating equipment, and the energy companies themselves, are approved Green Deal Providers and can be contacted to arrange a visit under the scheme. A Green Deal Assessment reviews and analyses the energy efficiency of your house. Boiler efficiency, insulation and draft proofing will be checked as standard but assessments will focus on the specific needs of each individual property.

2. Finance

Your Green Deal Assessment report will include written confirmation of the improvements your assessor will have discussed with you during his visit. You can take the document along to a Green Deal Provider who will be able to set up the scheme and arrange to fund the work. It is quite possible, and very sensible, to get alternative quotes from different providers. There are government cashback incentives applicable to most items of Green Deal equipment, so ask your Green Deal Provider about this too. When you decide to go ahead, you sign up to an agreement with the Green Deal Provider - this is called your Green Deal Plan.

3. Installation

Once the finance has been arranged, your Green Deal Provider will arrange for the installation work to be done by a specialist installer. All such installers have been vetted to guarantee their work meets the quality and expectations of Green Deal standards.

4. Repayment

Your future electricity bills will track your Green Deal repayments, and it is your energy supplier's responsibility to pass these repayments back to your original Green Deal Provider. The Green Deal 'golden rule' stipulates your yearly repayments must never exceed the energy savings you make over the same period. Thus whilst your payments should never increase because of Green deal improvements, you can usually expect to pay less (see below).

Example

On the Green Deal website (www.green-deal.org.uk) you will find an example (No. 2) of a Green Deal finance plan for an energy-efficient G to A rated boiler replacement, heating controls and cavity wall insulation in a semi-detached bungalow. The estimated yearly saving produced via these improvements amounts to £778, whilst the total annual repayments via the electricity bill amount to £660, saving the (now much warmer) customer £118 annually.

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This guest post was written by Nick Davison, Nick writes about a range of subjects, including energy efficiency and solar power.