There are calls for the Government to scrap its Green Deal scheme and instead focus on making energy efficient upgrades compulsory for British homeowners. The Green Deal is the Coalition’s flagship energy efficiency programme, designed to provide a loan for certain insulation measures.
Dr Aled Jones, the director of Anglia Ruskin University’s Global Sustainability Institute, told a Cambridge conference that the Green Deal is a busted flush and instead the Government needs to urgently make policy reforms.
According to Dr Jones, the only way Britain will be capable of meeting 29% carbon emission reduction targets is by legislation and compulsory energy efficiency upgrades.
But whilst the scheme remains open, there’s still every opportunity for you to receive help in paying for the upfront cost of energy efficiency measures. The scheme, which opened for business in January, offers a range of products including cavity wall insulation, replacement boilers and solar panels.
There is no upfront cost for you, instead paying back the loan with the savings you make on energy bills. The loan can be taken out for up to 25 years.
According to research, if the Government is to meet its carbon reduction targets, 700,000 homes need to be improved each year and despite a hefty funding of £244 milion, only 12 properties have had Green Deal work completed thus far.
Dr Jones comments: “Several commentators have called Green Deal the Marmite policy, but it is not a question of love it or hate it. If Unilever had a similar uptake for Marmite it would have been withdrawn from supermarket shelves almost overnight.
“While the Green Deal could be tweaked to encourage uptake – in particular interest-free loans that can be paid off early – it will never achieve the goal of radically changing the energy efficiency of our housing stock, which is vital for managing rising energy bills, ensuring energy security and tackling climate change.”
But should you still be considering the Green Deal?
Whilst it’s true there is no upfront cost, the interest on loans will see you paying back the upgrades longer than normal. A better option, if you could afford it, would be to pay for the insulation measures in full.
In this situation you would see the full energy savings, and payback for loft and cavity wall insulation can be as little as two years.
The Green Deal could serve more of a purpose for the expensive double glazing or solar panels, but again the same rules apply. With your own investment you’ll see greater savings and be better off in the long run.
If you’re interested in improving the efficiency of your home, make sure to compare quotes from both Green Deal and non-Green Deal companies. You can quickly see which offer best suits you and your property.
Facts & Figures You’ll Love To Share
- As many as 26,000,000 homes in the UK could be eligible to receive Green Deal funding.
- Green Deal loans are paid back over a 10-25 year period with the payments taken from energy bill savings.
- Using the Government’s Green Deal you can upgrade your boiler, improve insulation and replace windows for no upfront fee.
- The Green Deal’s Golden Rule states that homeowners won’t pay back more than the savings they make on energy bills with improved efficiency.