The Big Green Home Show at NSBRC in Swindon went well this weekend.
Despite the threats of storms and floods there was a good turnout at the show and great interest in the talk I gave (ECO Options – do your research) and the panel discussion about the Green Deal.
It seems there is still a lot of confusion about the Green Deal and what it is, what it can do and should be doing.
I am a qualified EPC and Green Deal advisor (despite 20 years experience I now need a certificate) and I thought this short summary might help you:
- The Green Deal is a loan scheme. The idea is that the cost of the carbon/energy saving measure is covered by the loan so you don’t have to find the cash up front. You pay back the loan via your electricity bill and a ‘Golden Rule’ ensures that your savings on your energy bill will more than cover the cost of the repayments.
- There is a multi-stage process to go through before you make any firm commitment as folows; Green Deal Assessment, Green Deal Plan, quotes for approved measures which are to be funded under the Green Deal, loan agreement offered, loan agreement signed and finally a 14 day cooling-off period. Until the end of the cooling-off period you can back out at any stage. The only cost to you is the cost of the assessment.
- You must have a Green Deal assessment to claim either the RHI payments or the interim Renewable Heat Premium Payment grant for Heat Pump, Biomass, Solar Hot Water etc, and you need to have reached a minimum standard of energy efficiency.
So should you or shouldn’t you go for it?
Well, a genuinely independent Green Deal assessment tells you quite a lot about you energy use and especially where you could save money, so it would make sense to have the assessment (I would argue that you should perhaps have a slightly more comprehensive survey and find out even more and get more detail on how to save energy). Of course, if you want RHI payments or the interim Renewable Heat Premium Payment grant then it is a must – the RHI is a very good tariff scheme for renewable heat.
If you want to save on energy and keep your home more comfortable and healthy, but don’t have the cash, then you should definitely consider it.
There is a small sting in the tail. The interest rate charged on the loan is, by current standards, quite high at around 7%.
I think it is too high and I know from talking to people at the Big Green Home Show that it is putting people off – the very people it is designed to help out!
In fact some vulnerable people are actually frightened by the concept of getting into debt and consider it as a high rate of interest. This is a sad indictment of current policy especially given the recent rapid rises in the price of energy that have pushed more vulnerable people into real fuel poverty.
What are your thoughts about the BIG GREEN DEAL and how do you think it will help or hinder the British public? I’d love to hear from you here or on our Twitter profile!