It is now a well established fact that we all waste energy in any number of ways. Some of them as a result of wasteful habits and others as a result of homes that are poorly prepared for energy efficiency. Recent figures suggest that in the UK, business and residential consumers waste as much as 3 billion pounds worth of energy every year. Education, awareness and some simple habit and lifestyle changes can take care of some of the problems with wasted energy consumption, but issues related to poorly prepared homes require capital investment which some people simply cannot afford. This is where the Green Deal steps in to provide assistance.
The Theory Behind the Green Deal
The Green Deal provides access to finance for capital investment into properties in order to make them more energy efficient. This might be in the form of insulation, small-scale home energy generation from solar or wind installations or even investment in energy efficient appliances such as energy efficient boilers. In reality this is a way of obtaining finance for the capital investment required to bring properties up to an increased level of energy efficiency – but with one significant difference. At the core of the Green Deal Scheme is the Golden Rule.
The Green Deal Golden Rule
For those people that have been thinking that the onus is back on them to take on additional finance through the scheme, the Golden Rule is there to give protection against the burden of additional finance. Repayments are made through energy bills and the savings as a result of work done under the scheme must equal or exceed the monthly repayments. Effectively this means that there is no additional monthly outlay and possibly some savings.
One other aspect of the scheme that should give people some extra confidence is that the finance is attached to the property and not the person. This means that if you move from the property that has been improved under the scheme, your responsibility for the repayments ends and passes to the new occupier.
Access to the Green Deal
There are potentially 45 energy saving measures that are covered under the scheme and access to them is a staged process that is designed to make sure that the Golden Rule is implemented and that assessment and actual work is carried out by properly registered and monitored bodies.
- Assessment – In order to access the Green Deal Scheme the building must first be assessed by a qualified and authorised assessor who will make the recommendations for how to achieve the required energy efficiency savings and produce a Green Deal Plan . Approval for finance will be based on the plan that is produced.
- Installation Works – The key factor here is that the work can only be carried out by properly authorised and approved installers who have been awarded the Green Deal Quality Mark. The installer may have been recommended by the assessor but people are under no obligation to go with installer recommendations made by the assessor.
Once all assessments have been carried out and approvals obtained, the finance that allows the works to begin is released by the provider. Some companies like Save Energy Group in Dorset have realigned themselves to work alongside the Green Deal Scheme to provide a one stop Green Deal Service that simplifies the process and introduces one point of contact for the consumer. This will definitely have advantages in terms of how the plan progresses for the consumer.
The Green Deal Scheme allows the government to make progress towards its stated carbon emissions targets but more importantly, gives the consumer access to energy efficiency investment at no additional monthly cost over and above what they currently pay for energy bills.