In this day and age, everyone is looking to make a saving. This is especially true when it comes to energy bills, which seem to increase year after year. The Government have improved their energy-saving Green Deal to make it more appealing to home owners. Read on to find out what the changes are, and how you can benefit from the new Green Deal.
What is the new Green Deal?
The original Green Deal, introduced in 2013, was met with lukewarm reception from the public. The scheme promised to help homeowners make energy savings on their home. In principle, the idea was brilliant. After an initial assessment, people could apply for loans and install energy efficient measures, such as double glazing or loft installation.
However, concerns were raised that the initial assessment fee was too high. Homeowners had to pay up to £120 to find out exactly what energy measures they were eligible for. Interest rates on the loan were also cited as being too high, between four per cent and seven per cent.
The Government recognised this as a huge stumbling block. Now, the newly named ‘Green Deal Home Improvement Fund’ allows homeowners to claim back up to £100 towards the cost of an initial assessment. They will also have the chance to receive a grant of up to £1000 for choosing two energy efficient options for their home.
An increase in cashback for solid wall insulation has also been made. Homeowners are now able to claim cashback of £6000, instead of the original £4000.
Another issue that needed to be addressed was the fact the loans for the energy savings were attached to the home itself, not the person applying for the loan. This could prove problematic for anyone trying to sell.
The new Green Scheme hammers home the fact that the costs are paid by your energy provider. Energy bills will not increase. As you will be saving money through your new energy saving loft installation (for example), the money you are saving each month will go towards paying off your efficiency loan. So you will be saving money in the long run.
How can you find out if your home can benefit?
You will need to book a visit from a Government approved Green Deal assessor. There are over five hundred assessors to choose from.
Your home will be checked over and the assessor will question you on your energy usage and how much your current bills are costing. Based on this inspection, recommendations will be made about which measures will be most beneficial to your home.
As the homeowner, you will need to pay the cost of this upfront; however, you will be able to claim this money back. Typical fees range from £99 – £120.
What work can you have done?
Providing the work is approved by your Green Deal assessor, there are over forty different energy saving measures you can take. These include:
- New boiler
- Double glazing
- Solar panels
- Under floor heating
- Cavity wall installation
- Loft installation
- Draught proofing
Often, you can make even more savings by combining work that’s carried out. So, you could have double glazing installed and cavity wall installation put in at the same time.
Any work carried out must be approved by a Green Deal assessor. They will be able to advise you which cost saving measures would be most suitable for your home.
Check your assessor is Green Deal approved
It is absolutely crucial that you choose an approved Green Deal assessor. You can use a Government approved search engine that will locate Green Deal assessors in your region. All you need to do is inset your postcode and property type. There are strict rules surrounding the Green Deal scheme, so the chances you will be misled by untrustworthy salesman, are very low.
As the Green Deal assessments are covered by door-to-door selling regulations, you also have seven days to cancel if you change your mind about getting anything installed.
The new Green Deal Home Improvement fund is a really important step for sustaining an energy efficient lifestyle. The initial outlay for the assessment and work to be done can be costly and disruptive, but the bigger picture must always be considered.
Having these energy efficient measures installed in your home will not only save you money, but will make your home more appealing to buyers.
We need to all take responsibility to live as environmentally friendly as we can, so our world can be enjoyed for generations to come.
Gabriella Johnson is the Marketing Executive at Innasol which provides innovative renewable energy and heating solutions for homes across the UK.