After several false starts the government’s flagship energy efficiency scheme, the Green Deal, finally launched today
The Green Deal allows homeowners and businesses to pay for energy efficiency improvements to their properties using a loan paid off through their energy bills.
The government programme includes 45 different types of improvements such as solid wall insulation, loft insulation, condensing boilers, draught proofing, and energy efficient glazing.
As well as undertaking property assessments, homeowners can now apply for funding through the Green Deal cashback scheme.
Deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg said: ‘The Green Deal will help thousands of homes stay warm for less. Those people will benefit from energy saving improvements – and their energy bills will fall. The UK green sector is a success story – it is the sixth largest in the world and has a crucial part to play in building a strong economy. The Green Deal will support thousands of jobs – not just over the next few years, but in the long-term.’
Labours shadow climate change minister Luciana Berger criticised the scheme: ‘The whole point of the Green Deal is that households are meant to save money on their energy bills - but with rip off interest rates, hidden charges and penalty payments the Green Deal could end up costing people more than they save.
‘With sky-high interest rates it’s hard to see how the Green Deal will be anything other than a bad deal for the public.’
How the Green Deal works
Householders, and those wishing to benefit from the Green Deal will begin the process by undertaking a Green Deal assessment.
A Green Deal assessor will visit the property and assess whether it will benefit from energy efficiency improvements. They will then recommend improvements that are appropriate for your property and indicate whether they are expected to pay for themselves through reduced energy bills.
Green Deal providers will then quote for the recommended improvements and the chosen provider will write up a Green Deal plan – a contract between the consumer and the provider setting out the work to be done and the repayments including the interest rate.
The repayments will be automatically added to the properties energy bill.