I’m keen to be energy efficient and save costs wherever possible. I’ve heard about the Green Deal on TV so I thought I’d find out more and see how it could help me. Politicians can make anything sound like a fantastic idea but I like to make up my own mind.
I started looking at my own energy supplier’s website to see what they said about the Green Deal and I found lots of information on their blog. My biggest surprise was that I would have to spend money to save money. Apparently, you need a Green Deal Assessment before anything else can happen and you have to pay for this upfront. As with anything that you purchase, it’s smart to shop around and get quotes as prices may vary. The blog I was reading said it could be around $160.
What Does the Assessor Look At?
The Green Deal Assessor will look at what home energy saving provisions are in place such as draught-proofing, home insulation (walls and loft), double glazing and renewable energy generation.
So, I thought I’d better have a look around the house myself to see what I might need. I know my loft has some insulation but it’s patchy and not very thick so maybe that needs some attention. I have a certificate for cavity wall insulation that was passed to me from the previous owner, so I think it’s probably safe to assume that it’s OK. My boiler still works but it’s very old and we don’t have a room thermostat, so it’s only a matter of time before it stops working altogether. Some of my neighbours have had solar panels installed and I’ve been wondering whether they would be worthwhile.
Given that I know I have some issues that will need addressing I think it would be worthwhile getting an assessment. The Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) provide all the information for finding an Assessor so I can get someone here to take a look.
How Will the Green Deal Help Me Pay?
The Green Deal isn’t a freebie, it’s just a helping hand. You won’t get something for nothing but you will get an affordable loan to help you upgrade your home and save on energy costs. The Green Deal Advice Report (from the Assessor – see here) will tell you what improvements could be made and how much money you could save on your bills. You aren’t tied to a specific provider so you can still shop around within the scheme to get the best prices.
How Does The Loan Work?
You can get a loan from the Green Deal Finance Company via your Green Deal Provider. Just like any other loan you can shop around for some quotes and choose the best deal for you. Interest rates can vary just as they do with any other loan. The best part is that the payments will be added to your energy bill and they shouldn’t be more than the projected savings you should get from the improvements.
What’s The Catch?
Just like taking any loan, be sure to read the small print. There are some early redemption fees that may apply to you. Also, the Assessor will use a typical household for their savings projections and it’s very difficult to say exactly how much energy you’ll use in the future. It’s not really a catch, just covering all the bases. As long as you go in with your eyes open and take all the usual precautions there’s no reason why the Green Deal can’t work to your advantage.