The Green Deal
Commonly Asked Green Deal Questions
There is a lot of poor quality information and rumours flying around about the Green Deal Scheme so below is a selection of the most common questions we are asked.
If you cannot find the answers to your questions then please email or telephone us and one of our expert advisors will be only too happy to try and provide you with the correct answer.
As Green Deal is a dynamic scheme the answers below are relevant as at 28th January 2013.
When Does the Green Deal Start?
The procedural framework is being put in place from October 1st until late January 2013. As far as the public being able to get Green Deal quotes and taking up ECO grants and financing then late March should see the first wave of ECO grants and late April the first Green Deal Loan.
What is the Objective of the Green Deal Scheme?
It is a 2 part financing mechanism – free grants & low interest loans – to allow home-owners and tenants to upgrade their homes with energy saving home improvements without necessarily having to find the money up front to pay for them.
What Sort of Energy Saving Products Are Available?
The main thrust of the Green Deal is to boost energy efficiency and so wall,loft and floor insulation are major areas along with heating systems and improved glazing.
Other products may also be available under the Green Deal such as ground source heat pumps,solar thermal and PV and biomass boilers but only if the areas above are fully optimised.
Who Finances the Scheme?
The government and the Energy Companies fund the ECO Grants and Green Loans through the Green Bank?
Who Qualifies for the Scheme?
Any tenant or home-owner can request a Green Deal survey and it is expected that virtually every home will benefit from some kind of energy saving improvement.
Is the Green Deal means-tested?
No. If you live in a solid wall home then you automatically qualify for the Green Deal to have solid wall insulation fitted regardless of your income or benefit levels.
For cavity wall homes people on certain benefits will receive slightly more funding towards the cost of certain improvements but “able to pay” home-owners will still be able to use the Green Deal?
Can I Just Take the Grant Without the Loan?
Yes. Anyone can choose to take the full grant amount and self-finance the remaining balance if they wish.This way all your heating bill savings are yours to keep and are not used to pay off a Green Loan.
How Does the Green Deal Loan Work?
The loan is set off against your electric meter and repayments are added to your electric bill for the duration of the loan. It is not an extra charge on your electric but is simply the method used for collecting the loan installments.
Rather than use a bank account or paying in book to make the loan repayments it was felt that as almost every home has an electric meter it would be easiest to collect the payments that way.
If My Electric Bill Goes Up How Am I Getting “Free” Energy Saving Improvements?
The rise in the electric bill is calculated to not exceed the expected drop in your heating costs. So, on a combined heating and electric bill you won’t pay more than you do now- as long as you use energy the same way as you always have done.
This principle is called the Golden Rule and ensures the bill payer is not out of pocket as aresult of installing the energy sdaving measures.
What happens If I Move House or Die?
As any Green Loan is repaid on a pay-as-you-save basis through th electric bill the new bill payer takes on the Green Loan as a legal condition when buying the property.
What Financial Information Do I Need to Divulge?
None.There are no income or credit worthiness checks carried out and if any benefits are taken into account then all that is needed is the benefit reference number.
Can I Repay the Green Loan Early?
Yes. You can early settle the loan at any time you wish and the government are introducing legislation to ensure a fair early redemption interest charge is levied so as to not penalise the home-owner?
Can Tenants Use the Green Deal?
Yes,as long as they have the permission of the landlord to adopt the energy saving improvement. Similarly with a sitting tenant the landlord would need the tenant’s permission to install a Green Deal measure.
Who Regulates the Green Deal?
The government have instructed both Ofgem and a new body – The Green Deal Oversight Regulatory Body – to supervise the companies operating within the scheme.
All products, installers and assessors have to be Green Deal vetted and approved before they are allowed into the scheme and they are allowed to then display the Green Deal Approved logo.
Do I Have To Have A Green Deal Assessment?
Yes.A home energy assessment must be carried out by an approved Green Deal Advisor as the starting point for accessing the scheme.
This assessment will produce a Green Deal Advice Report which the home-owner uses to access the contractors for the work,the grants and the pay-as-you-save-loans.
Who Gives the Loans?
The actual loan providers will be a mixture of new companies and famous High St names such as British Gas and B&Q with the likes of Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury also looking at joining the scheme in the near future.
Any loan though will be capped at 7% interest per year to protect the consumer from excessive interest charges and to offer a fixed repayment so budgeting is simple.
* For more information please see the DECC Code of Practice which governs companies acting as Green Deal Installers,Assessors or Providers.