First Day of the Green Deal – Truths and Untruths

The Green Deal, which is the government’s flagship initiative to improve energy efficiency in existing UK homes, has had its official launch this morning. Registration for the Green Deal has been available since October 2012, but homeowners, landlords and tenants have not been able to sign up for financing with a Green Deal Provider until today.

Greg Barker MP, the Minister overseeing this launch has unsurprisingly been very enthusiastic about the new initiative, having been interviewing for both Sky News and the BBC earlier this morning. However, in my opinion, many of the reports released this morning by media agencies on the Green Deal seemed to miss many of the key elements of the scheme.

For example in most of the reports there was no mention of ECO (Energy Company Obligation), which is essentially a grant to assist to the poorest and most vulnerable to energy poverty within our society or where the Green Deal principles of providing ‘savings the will help pay for measures’ doesn’t work.

Surely on the back of two weeks where we endured regular sub zero temperatures, we should be highlighting measures out there that can help make our homes warmer and help to reduce our energy costs, rather than nitpick on some of the small teething issues that people feel the scheme may initially suffer from.

Today’s Sky News report talked about £10,000 worth of solid wall insulation and how customers would see poor returns, but failed to mention if the payback calculated at the start of the plan didn’t add up then that measure should not made available by the Green Deal Assessor. The report also didn’t mention that in many of these cases, where solid wall insulation was one of the improvement measures suggested, homes could also qualify for an ECO grant. The government is keen to push for solid wall insulation and use the ECO mechanism to do so, because a high proportion of housing in the Britain is quite old and many of these homes have a poor energy rating.

Scare stories that some of these measures will take decades to pay off are also unfounded. Most of the measures that will get installed will pay back within 10 years, so having to get finance on measures that will be several decades is ridiculous! The stories also speculated that installing measures via the Green Deal has the potential to heap £1000’s extra on top of their existing bills – but the whole point of the Green Deal is that only the measures that can produce returns large enough to pay for the installation in the first place will be open to green deal funding.

There are 45 measures that qualify for Green Deal finance, and some of them are really simple and cheap like draught proofing to the more expensive walls and floor insulation. This scheme will really make a difference on people’s bills when they decide to have the measures that are right for them put in place. The ECO on the other hand will be targeted to the most vulnerable and help reduce energy poverty.

Here at TheGreenAge we want the consumers to be informed and have a full understanding of how the Green Deal and ECO work. This is why every week we will be publish a set of short bitesized videos that will hopefully help with answering some of the questions and concerns. Make sure you stay tuned!

We hope the Green Deal is a success and that it can be of benefit to you too.

Update: have a look at some of the recent case studies that have been installed via the Green Deal.