UPDATE: As of 30 March 2016, the government has stopped funding and the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund is closed to new applications. You can read about it here.
When the Green Deal launched in early 2013, it had set the ambition of being the biggest retrofit buildings programme since World War Two; however the recently released Green Deal take-up figures from the Government have shown that thus far, this is definitely not the case!
Will then, the Green Deal be a bit of a damp squib and be confined to the dustpan of legislation programmes or is the sluggish start just like a longish runway before eventual take-off?
In this blog we explore some of the most typical questions that consumers are interested in when it comes to this programme and we provide our own view of how we have seen the programme roll-out over the last year or so.
Is the Green Deal Free?
One of the criticisms of the Green Deal is the initial cost of getting an assessment. Unfortunately, getting independent advice from a company not aligned with a Provider is going to cost you money. There is no government money towards getting a free or cheaper assessment.
Some customers who fall into certain benefit groups and those in certain postcodes, who have clear need of ECO funding towards a measure such as cavity or loft insulation, or a new boiler, could get a free assessment as part of this process, but it does not apply to everyone. You can give us a call or an email if you think you may qualify for a free assessment in this way.
So is the Green Deal worth it?
Having said that there is a cost involved, we think the cost of the assessment should be seen as more of an investment. Chances are you will find out about measures you can install or little things you could do that will save you many times the assessment cost in the long run. We find that customers who approach the assessment as a learning and fact finding experience get more out of their assessment. Just make sure you ask lots of questions when you meet your assessor. If they don’t know the answer, they will find out for you.
Is the Green Deal Interest Free?
No. There is a fixed interest rate attached of around 7-8% APR. This means that if you can afford to pay for the work up front, it will be cheaper for you in the long run. If you can’t however, the Green Deal is a one way of securing the funding before getting the work completed.
Where can I find Providers?
We are obligated to direct you to the Green Deal Orb, which has a list of all accredited providers, installers and assessing organisations. Unfortunately, the way the scheme works means that many companies claim to be nationwide, or say they can install any measure, because it allows them to generate leads that they can sell on.
This means that the providers that really do offer what you need can be tricky to find. We recommend that you ask your assessor for several local Green Deal Providers you can contact – as this can really expedite the process and ensure that the companies you are contacting really do offer the service they claim they do.
Why can’t I Find a Company that does the energy efficiency measure that I want on the Green Deal?
Many Green Deal Providers tend to focus on a few key measures that they can deliver, like wall insulation, or boilers. That is why it is worth ringing around to find a Provider that can help you. Unfortunately, there are some areas of the country and some measures which are as yet not covered by the Green Deal – it is really worth asking your assessor what measures are currently covered in your area and what you may have to get done privately.
If you are after something specific, it is really worth trying to find a provider that will do the work before you go for your assessment.
The Green Deal Favours certain Technologies
The Green Deal is great for more cost effective measures (for example loft insulation), since it has a low initial install cost and creates big yearly energy savings.
When we get customers ringing who are looking for something like double glazing that is not really cost effective (savings are minimal and the cost of installation is high), we will normally advise them the Green Deal may not be for them – since the amount of finance they will have access to will be negligible.
A good Green Deal Advisor Organisation (and we include ourselves here) should give you an honest appraisal over the phone – if they promise you the earth, it is often to good to be true!
Is it true that Green Deal cashback is set to finish in early 2014?
The Green Deal cashback scheme is not finished yet! The government recently announced that the cashback scheme would accept applications for cashback until at least June 2014, so there is still plenty of time to take advantage.
Be aware however, some providers are not setup to do Green Deal Cashback. It is really worth finding a Provider that does, because you can get paid up to £1,000 for installing some measures.
The Government also announced the amount of cashback available under the Green Deal has increased – you can find more out on this here.
Any other questions about the Green Deal?
If you have any questions about the Green Deal, Energy Efficiency or Self Generation, please do get in touch on 0208 144 0897 or firstname.lastname@example.org.