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You may have heard of Green Deal but never knew exactly the details of the scheme. Here we discuss how improving the efficiency of your energy at home and help the environment as well as saving money.
Energy-Efficient Money Saving Scheme for Home Owners
The Green Deal is basically a loan scheme that allows home owners to pay for energy-efficient home improvements. This is an initiative of the U.K. government to reduce the heat loss in our homes and cut down on carbon emissions. The essence of the Green Deal is that the money you will save on energy bills will be greater than the amount spent on the energy-saving improvements.
The Green Deal, which was formally launched in January 2013, aims to provide funds for energy-efficient upgrades for homes in U.K. without making any upfront payments. Instead, the cost of the energy measures are included in your energy bills and you pay it back over time like interest on a loan.
This deal is essentially a type of loan given by private companies that will install energy-saving upgrades. Each household is entitled to a maximum of £6,500. The loan will be paid back as a portion of the energy bill over a maximum of 25 years. Upfront costs are not required; but there are provisions for landlords to make an upfront payment.
Types of Energy Efficient Changes
Home owners can use the opportunities offered by the Green Deal to install better insulation on all the walls of the home. Installation of new energy-efficient boilers and solar panels are also covered by the Green Deal.
Some of these energy-efficient upgrades are already being subsidised by some major energy suppliers and some customers who are enjoying certain benefit packages may be entitled to free upgrades.
How the Green Deal Works
Here are the major steps you need to take to participate in this scheme:
First, decide what you want to do to improve energy efficiency in your home. Then a specially accredited adviser will visit the property and assess its present energy performance and the measures that will be most suitable for it. The adviser will give you a report containing the results of the assessment.
Next, get quotes from various Green Deal providers. They will offer you estimates for the total cost of the energy-saving upgrade. Then you can select the provider that appeals to you. The work can begin without any upfront costs. You will begin to pay for the work as an additional charge on your electricity bills.
You need to be aware that you can switch energy providers after you have started paying for the new home improvements. Since your payment is a fixed amount per month, it is transferable from one supplier to another.
This deal can also be transferred from one property owner to another. So if you decide to sell your home, the debt will be passed on to the next landlord. Therefore, all details of previous payments made have to be disclosed when selling or letting the property.
Money Savings Offered by the Green Deal
Energy-efficient upgrades on your boiler can provide an annual savings of up to £310. Changing the insulation on your walls can also offer you a savings of up to £310 per year. Once the entire loan is paid, you will continue to enjoy the energy savings.
Adequate Protection for Green Deal Participants
This scheme has certain protection measures to safe-guard your investment so you can reap the cost savings. For instance, all the installers of energy-saving upgrades are authorised and they comply with high standards. There are clear confirmation processes that must be followed before the charges can be collected through your electricity bill. Clear procedures must also be followed to inform home buyers about the scheme before they take over the property. All these procedures are backed by legislation that specifies consumer credit agreements and protects you against unfair trading practices.
Even though you could be disconnected if you cannot pay up your energy bills, there are safeguards to prevent this situation from occurring. For example, energy suppliers are required to follow a procedure to enable you to make your payments on time. These include the supply of prepayment meters and the restriction on disconnection for some households during winter. In fact, if you feel that you are finding it difficult to pay your electricity bills; you can get in touch with your energy supplier and find out the options that are available to you.