The Green Deal hasn’t exactly been the most popular of schemes introduced by the government over the last few years.
Boasted as being the Government’s flagship energy programme it has yet to fully take off with just a handful of applicants.
But why wouldn’t you want to improve the efficiency of your home with Government loans?
Only 132 households have signed up so far in the first eight months. Not exactly a record breaker.
The Green Deal explained
Ok, so we know it hasn’t proven popular thus far, but what exactly does the scheme entail? It’s designed to boost energy efficiency with improvements such as loft insulation, wall cavity insulation and double glazing.
Homeowners aren’t required to make any upfront payments and are instead given a loan which is paid back for up to 25 years. You don’t lose out either as payments are taken from the amount you save on energy bills.
All good so far right?
Upon application your home is assessed by an approved company to find out which improvements would be best suited. The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) say 58,000 homes have had their property assessed so far.
And energy minister Greg Barker said: “This ambitious long-term programme is still in its initial months.
“But over 58,000 Green Deal assessments shows genuine consumer interest and we expect continued steady growth as we go into the winter.”
So what is with the reluctance in uptake?
There seem to be three factors putting many people off finalising their Green Deal plans:
- Interest costs: Whilst interest rates applied to these Green Deal loans are unclear, when spread out over a 25 year period they’re likely to be significant.
- Golden Rule: The Golden Rule of the scheme is you won’t pay back more than you save. But this calculation is made on a national average rather than an individual basis, so in layman’s terms; you could.
- Linked to property: The scheme is tied in with the home rather than the owner. This is all well and good but if you want to sell-up later down the line the new buyer would have to take up responsibility for the debt.
What are the alternatives?
It’s a sure thing that gas and electricity prices will continue to increase in the future. Every expert is in agreement. This means it is very sensible to implement energy saving measures for your home.
Energy Saving Trust’s David Weatherall suggests there are a number of ways to help deal with expensive energy bills.
He says: “If you have an uninsulated hot water cylinder, you could start saving now by fitting a tank jacket. And while you’re at it, you could also insulate any exposed hot pipework around the cylinder and around the boiler.
“It’s easy to fit yourself, the materials for the whole lot will only cost you around £25, and you’ll save £60 a year.”
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.