The Green Deal
The Green Deal is the coalition government’s flagship policy for the `energy refurbishment` of existing buildings within the UK. On the 1st October 2012 the Government announced that homeowners could book an assessment and apply for loans from January 2013. The Green Deal scheme officially launched on Monday 28th January 2013.
Approximately 40% of the UK`s carbon emissions are down to the energy we use to heat and light our homes and other buildings such as offices, businesses and factories.
The Green Deal will provide the means by which homeowners and businesses alike will be able to finance energy efficiency measures for their buildings without having to find any `up front` cash as the measures will be financed by businesses who will recoup their money via the energy bill.
The Green Deal Consumer journey
As part of the Green Deal every household and business across the UK is entitled to an energy efficiency assessment which will be produced by an accredited assessor. Energy efficiency assessments are available now. The simple process outlined below is intended to facilitate the installation of insulation measures that are identified as complying with the ‘Golden Rule’(see below).
The cost of installing the energy efficient measures will be repaid over a given period of time (probably 25 years) however, the cost of the work is attached to the fuel meter, and not to the individual, this is the difference between the Green Deal and a conventional loan. Therefore, if you move out of the building, the new occupant picks up the charge but also benefits from the energy efficiency measures that have been installed.
In essence the cost of the energy efficiency improvements will be paid for by the savings generated due to the reduction in energy bills. This is the so called ‘Golden Rule’ whereby the estimated savings on energy bills will always be equal to or exceed the cost of the energy efficiency works.
The Green Deal will provide additional help for the most vulnerable and needy amongst us, such as those who are on low, or very low incomes and people who live in homes that are costly to heat and difficult to upgrade such as properties built with solid masonry walls.
In common with the approach to new buildings the most cost efficient and effective way of upgrading the energy performance of a building and reducing heating bills is to adopt a ‘fabric first’ approach.
For instance, a typical un-insulated and existing three bedroom, semi detached house (built with solid walls) could adopt a ‘fabric first’ package of solutions and achieve approximate fuel bill savings as follows:
|Insulate solid walls||375|
|Install draught proofing||20|
*Energy Saving Trust September 2011
Find out more about the Government’s Green Deal here.