The Green Deal. The Good The Bad And The Ugly!
The green deal was set up by the government a year ago to help homeowners make energy saving home improvements protecting themselves against rising energy costs.
Create Your Own Energy – solar panels and technologies like air /ground heating pumps
Windows – replacing old windows with triple, double or secondary glazed windows to reduce heat loss and reducing noise.
Draught Proofing – sealing up gaps around windows, doors and loft hatches will stop heat escaping.
External and Internal Solid Wall Installation – older properties tend to have solid walls so adding insulation to the inside or the outside of the wall will help reduce the amount of heat from your property.
Cavity Wall Insulation – homes that have a hollow space in the walls can have insulation adding all this work can be done from the outside of the property which means there is no mess.
Loft Insulation – by topping up or insulating your loft this will help to stop heat being lost through your roof.
Renewable Heat / Boilers – fitting a condensing boiler will help reduce your energy bills as they use less energy. Air or ground source heat pumps also recover a lot of heat.
How Do I Get It?
- You need to book a Green Deal assessment to enable you to take part in any of the government incentives on offer. This will take place in the comfort of your own home and the assessor will discuss your energy use and where you could benefit from energy efficiency home improvements.
- Your assessor will recommend improvements that are right for your property and indicate what savings you will make from the improvements.
- Decide on how to pay for your home improvements there are incentives and a range of ways to pay.
- Install your home improvements and enjoy the benefits!
Cash Back For Home Improvers
To get the cash back you must;
- Have a Green Deal assessment
- Get and agree quotes from a Green Deal Provider who is registered with the Cashback Scheme
- Apply for your Cashback voucher online or by phone, before you begin the work.
- Complete the work in the time frames set for each job.
- Your provider will need to confirm the work is finished and arrange for your Energy Performance Certificate is updated. You will then receive your payment.
Example; A recent increase to the amount of cash back offered to consumers from Green Deal on double glazing has been more than doubled from £320 to £650.
The number of households using the Green Deal Scheme show that they are still falling. The latest figures should be a wakeup call to the government that the Green Deal is not working in its current form.
The scheme has proved unattractive to the home owners with other financial packages such as high street loans and credit cards offering more competitive rates to fund their home improvement projects, new incentives and financial packages need to be offered.
One idea is to reduce the VAT from 20% to 5% on all domestic maintenance repairs which would include energy efficiency improvements. This would be a more attractive incentive for homeowners who would then be more likely to get quotes from professionals on various home improvement projects.
Energy minister Greg Barker admitted his initial target of 10,000 Green Deal plans to be in place by the end of 2013 had been ‘spectacularly wrong’. Currently just 1,612 households have Green Deal plans in progress.
News out this week reveals that the Green Deal Scheme costs more to run than it hands out to consumers. Figures state;
The DECC’s monthly departmental spend, in the past 10 months civil servants have managed to blow a staggering £33.2 million on the Government’s flagship green scheme in operating costs alone.
One bill in January for “overhead incidental expenses” cost the taxpayer £108,000 and was paid to PR consultants Freud Communications, on top of other payments the firm pocketed at the end of last year totalling more than £160,000.
And The Green Deal Finance Company, which is already sitting on £244 million of public funds, was paid a cool £233,733 for “bank charges”.
Labour’s Shadow Energy Minister Jonathan Reynolds described the figures as “scandalous” and accused Ministers of losing control of the Green Deal scheme.
I think the government needs to both look at this scheme again and come up with a better package or scrap it completely before more money is wasted on it.