With the Green Deal the Government is on a mission to drive home to home owners the many benefits and advantages of a scheme that has the potential to revolutionise energy efficiency and energy savings amongst some 14 million of the UK’s most ageing and poorly insulated housing stock.
The great thing about the Green Deal is that households get to upgrade their heating and insulation, and install other energy saving home improvements, without having to put their hands in their pockets.
So what do you need to do to get started? Essentially there are 4 stages to the Green Deal: assessments, finance, installation and repayment.
Stage 1 – Getting your property assessed
Before you can sign up for a package of Green Deal home improvements you will need to arrange for a Government approved assessor to pop out to visit your property and carry out a Green Deal assessment. Once your home has been assessed the representative will recommend a package of Green Deal measures which you and your home are eligible for as part of the scheme. You might have to pay a fee for the assessment, and this could be as much as £150. However, it’s not a fixed fee; some Green Deal assessors may charge to carry out this service or do it for free. You will only need one advice report. So once you’ve armed yourself with an assessment that’s you done. You can now request quotes from approved Green Deal providers.
Stage 2 – Choosing a finance package
The first Green Deal finance packages became available on 28th January 2013, when the scheme became fully operational following an earlier soft launch. It’s the job of a Green Deal provider to provide adopters with an unsecured loan which is subject to interest. The minimum payment period is ten years, with 25 years set as the maximum. The amount of interest charged will vary from provider to provider. To finance the loans, providers apply to the Green Deal Finance Company, who charge providers an APR of 6.96% to borrow cash. Therefore Green Deal adopters can expect to pay between 7-11% interest on loans. Like most loans you’ll have to pay an additional fee, an early redemption penalty, if you want to pay off the loan early. Just something you need to be aware of if you take out a loan for longer than 15 years.
Stage 3 – Getting your home improvements installed
Okay, so you’ve had your home assessed and you’ve been approved for Green Deal finance. Well now the real fun begins. Yes, it’s time to get an approved installer in to make those all important energy efficiency home improvements. Don’t forget that only Green Deal approved installers can carry out work as part of the initiative. So make sure you look out for their Green Deal Quality Mark.
Stage 4 – Making the repayments
It’s up to your Green Deal provider to let your electricity supplier know that you’ve taken out a Green Deal Plan. They will arrange for payments to be taken from your energy bill. Your supplier will get in touch to confirm details of the Plan and a date for when they will begin to take payments from your electricity bill. The amount of money you pay back won’t be more than the money you’re saving on your energy bills.
For more information about the scheme visit our Green Deal frequently asked questions page and check out the video below.
Editor’s note: this article was updated on 4 July 2014.