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The Green Deal – Explained

You might have heard of the Green Deal in passing, a new government scheme that’s connected to the energy efficiency of your home; but do you know enough about it to see how it could be benefiting you and your home?

The Green Deal is a new initiative that has been introduced by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) which has the aim of helping both tenants and homeowners make improvements to their home that will increase their energy efficiency. It works as a pay-as-you-save scheme that will let you make these improvements to your home without having to find all of the money upfront. You see, the Green Deal allows you to install something like a new combi boiler or wall insulation in your home, which can then be paid off with instalments that are added to your electricity bills.

There are Green Deal Providers who you can approach to see whether the Green Deal will be beneficial for your home; with many energy companies being providers of Green Deal services. Once you’ve contacted them an advisor will visit you at home and assess the energy usage before producing a report for you.

This report will tell you how much money you could be saving and how much you can expect to be paying on top of your standard electricity bill charges. If you then want to undertake this Green Deal, the provider will arrange for the improvements to be carried out by an accredited installer before adding the finance charges onto your bill.

Could I save less than it will cost me to carry out these improvements?

In order to try and ensure this doesn’t happen there has been a ‘Golden Rule’ introduced alongside the Green Deal. This works by making sure that the amount you’ll have to pay back in your energy bill is no more than the amount you will be saving each year. So for example, if you are expected to save £125 per year, then you shouldn’t be paying any more than £125 a year on top of your electricity bill. Should you choose to have several improvements done to your home then the combined costs and savings would be taken into consideration.

It is important to remember that the ‘Golden Rule’ isn’t a guarantee it’s just a principle of the Green Deal, so have a look at the margins between your savings and costs to see if it is going to be worthwhile before agreeing to undertake it.

It may also be an idea to consider asking for more than one provider to carry out a quote for you to give you a comparison, especially if you think the costs/savings really are too good to be true. Do your research too as many consumer watchdogs are doing reviews on the various providers as well as making sure that the government do everything possible to make sure the Green Deal is consumer-friendly.

How much extra can I expect to be paying on my electricity bill?

This is something that you will discuss in depth with your Green Deal Provider, including how long your repayments will last for and the amount that will be added to your bills.

The cost will depend on how much the expected savings from the home improvements are as well as how much it is going to cost for the work to be carried out.
Will I be able to switch energy providers even if I have taken part in the Green Deal?
The Green Deal is attached to your electricity bill, but this doesn’t stop you switching providers as long as the supplier you are wanting to change to supports repayments for your Green Deal. Any repayments you still have outstanding will then be moved across to your new provider and will be written off as and when you have finished repaying them.

What happens if we decide to move house?

Should you decide to move house or rent the property out to someone then the Green Deal repayments will be passed onto them through the electricity bills. Under new legislation everyone is now required to have an Energy Performance Certificate which shows the energy efficiency of the property. If, when you come to sell/rent your home, you have had these Green Deal improvements then the EPC will be updated automatically to show what improvements have been made to the property. This will give tenants/buyers the most up-to-date information on the energy-efficiency of the property – something that is becoming increasingly important for many buyers/tenants.

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