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Understanding the Green Deal
You can make energy-saving improvements to your home or business without having to pay all the costs up front through the Green Deal.
Energy-saving improvements include:
- insulation – eg loft or cavity wall insulation
- double glazing
- renewable energy technologies – eg solar panels or wind turbines
Part 1: Getting involved
- Get an assessment of your property – this will tell you what improvements you can make and estimate how much you could save on your energy bills.
- Choose a Green Deal provider to carry out the work. You discuss with them what work you want done and whether the Green Deal is right for you.
- If you go ahead with the improvements you must sign your Green Deal Plan – this is a contract between you and the provider stating what work will be done and how much it will cost. The provider will then arrange for a Green Deal installer to do the work.
- Once the work is done, you’ll pay off the money in instalments through your electricity bill
You can get an assessment now, but work can’t start until 28 January 2013.
If you’re a landlord, you must get your tenant’s permission before you sign up, and if you’re a tenant you must get your landlord’s permission to sign up – this also applies to social housing.
You’ll need to choose an authorised Green Deal assessor. They will visit your home, talk to you about your property and your energy use and tell you whether you could benefit from Green Deal improvements.
You’ll be given a Green Deal Advice Report – this will explain what improvements you can make and estimate how much you could save on your energy bills.
You may have to pay for an assessment – you should check with the assessor before the appointment.
If the assessor intends to quote for improvements, or recommend specific products or providers, they’ll need your permission before they do the assessment.
Green Deal mark
Green Deal assessors must be authorised to act under the Green Deal – look for the Green Deal Approved Quality Mark.
Green Deal providers and installers must also be authorised – they will display the quality mark if they are.
After the assessment
Contact a Green Deal provider – they will discuss with you what work is right for you and arrange for any work to be done.
You can get quotes from as many providers as you like – you don’t have to choose all, or any, of their recommendations.
The amount you repay for Green Deal improvements is based on what a typical household is expected to save on energy bills by having the work done.
The cost will be shown on your Green Deal Plan (the contract between you and the provider), and will include the interest rate.
Most improvements should reduce your heating bill because you’ll be using less electricity, gas or oil – but the actual savings depend on your energy use and the future cost of energy.
Before you sign your Green Deal Plan, check you understand the repayment rules.
How you repay
You’ll pay the money back through your electricity bill. This is so that the Green Deal stays with the house – ie if you move, you no longer benefit from the improvements and therefore stop paying for them.
If you have a prepayment meter, a small amount will be taken from the meter each day instead.
You can pay off your Green Deal early, but you might be charged a fee – check with your provider.
Help with costs
If you’re on benefits, a low income or live in an old property, you may be able to get help with costs. Contact the Energy Saving Advice Service.
If you move into a property with a Green Deal, the landlord or seller must show you a copy of the Energy Performance Certificate – this will explain what improvements have been made and how much you’ll need to repay.
The person who pays the electricity bill pays the money back – so if you’re a tenant in a rented property, you’ll be paying back the costs, not the landlord. This is because the tenant can expect to benefit from lower energy costs.
You can change electricity supplier, but only if the new supplier is participating in the Green Deal.
Get more information
If you have questions about improvements, warranties or repayments, contact the Green Deal provider – their contact details will be on your Energy Performance Certificate.
If you have a complaint and it can’t be dealt with by the Green Deal provider or supplier, contact the Green Deal Ombudsman.
You may be able to claim back money from the government if you make energy saving improvements to your home under the Green Deal.
The scheme will run for a limited period, and is available for householders (eg home-owners, tenants etc). Landlords are eligible if they pay for installation.
You can choose to donate some or all of your cashback to a charity or community interest company signed up with the scheme.