What is the Green Deal?
The Green Deal (GD) forms part of the government’s Energy Act 2011, which intends to reduce carbon emissions cost-effectively across the UK. Essentially, the Green Deal enlists certified Green Deal Advisors (GDA) to identify areas within consumer homes where energy efficiency improvements can be made and paid for with no upfront cost. The improvements are carried out by certified Green Deal Installers (GDI) and the improvements reduce consumer energy bills. The cost of the Green Deal Installations is then added to your electricity bill payments. At the heart of the Green Deal is a simple rule that the estimated savings on energy bills will always equal or exceed the cost of the work.
Why do we need the Green Deal?
At a local level, the Green Deal will enable many households and businesses to improve the energy efficiency of their properties without consuming so much energy and wasting so much money. At a national level, the UK needs to become more energy efficient to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, which risk dangerous climate change, and meet its carbon reduction target by 2020 (34% reduction from 1990). Reducing demand for energy through eliminating waste cost-effectively is one of the best ways to reduce emissions. The Green Deal will deliver energy saving packages to millions of homes and businesses across the country, playing a key role in implementing energy efficiency measures nationwide. Consequently the scheme will provide opportunities for skilled and unskilled labour: from assessment to installation, manufacturing to supply, over the length and breadth of Britain for many years to come.
How do I schedule a Green Deal Assessment?
Obtaining a Green Deal Assessment is simple and available to all. The process for getting an assessment is as follows:
- Make contact with a Green Deal Advisor (www.greendealorb.co.uk);
- An approved Green Deal Advisor (GDA) undertakes an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) on your property, which outlines which energy saving measures will be available under the Green Deal;
- An occupancy assessment is completed, which addresses how you use energy within the dwelling;
- The EPC and occupancy data is then used to complete a Green Deal Assessment Report (GDAR), which is discussed with you by the GDA;
- You can then take the GDAR to a Green Deal Finance Provider who can agree finance for the measures you are looking to install in your property;
- An approved Green Deal Installer is commissioned to undertake the approved work;
- A new EPC is completed on the dwelling to illustrate the finished energy efficiency of the property.
How can the Green Deal benefit me?
The Green Deal will enable home and business owners to benefit from the installation of certain energy saving measures on their property with little or no upfront cost. This will improve the comfort within the property whilst reducing energy bills.
What measures are available under the Green Deal?
All measures available through the Green Deal have to meet the ‘golden rule’: the estimated savings on energy bills should always equal or exceed the cost of the work. Examples of measures that are available under the Green Deal are:
- Solid Wall Insulation
- Cavity Insulation
- Loft Insulation
Some energy saving measures will not meet with this ‘golden rule’; however, they will be made available under the Green Deal with a small upfront investment from the property owner. Examples of these measures may be:
- Solar PV
- Double Glazed Windows
- New Condensing Boilers
What happens if I move house before the repayments have been completed?
The finance agreement for the installed measures remains with the property electricity meter and not with the property owner, therefore the charge will remain and the new occupiers will continue to make the repayments through their energy bills.
Who is responsible for the repayments?
The repayments for any measures implemented under the Green Deal are made by the person who is responsible for the electricity bill. The repayments are made through the savings generated on the energy bills through the installed energy efficiency measures.
Can I choose what measures are installed on my house?
The Energy Performance Certificate will outline which measures are potentially available on the Green Deal through the Green and Orange ticks on page 3 of the certificate. You will then be able to decide on the measures you want to install and those you do not. The final set of installations and repayments will have been customised and approved by the property owner.
What is included in a Green Deal Assessment?
A Green Deal Assessment includes an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) at the beginning and end of the process and an occupancy assessment. These assessments enable the Green Deal Advisor to complete a Green Deal Assessment Report which is customised by the property owner and used to engage the services of a Green Deal Installer through the finance offered by a Green Deal Finance Provider.
What is ECO?
There are some cases where the ‘golden rule’ will not work but where there are strong policy reasons still to promote energy efficiency measures. The key mechanism to support in these cases will be a new Energy Company Obligation (ECO). ECO will be entirely focussed on:
- The needs of the lower income and most vulnerable; and
- Those properties needing the next most cost-effective measures that do not meet the ‘golden rule’ – for example, solid wall insulation.
ECO will not be like previous obligations with carbon goals able to be achieved across all households. From the outset, the targets will only be achieved within a certain householder group (lower income and vulnerable households where Green Deal is less likely to work) and/or with certain property types, such as those needing solid wall insulation.
Green Deal Advisor
A qualified Green Deal Advisor is able to produce Green Deal Advice Reports by working with a Green Deal Advisor Certification organisation, once available. Initially, only Domestic Green Deal Advisors (DGDA) are being trained and qualified, with Non-Domestic Green Deal Advisors (NDGDAs) following shortly after.
Green Deal Advisor Organisation
These organisations have been successful in their application to a Green Deal Advisor Scheme for certified advisor status and registered with the GDOB. Green Deal Advisor Organisations are able to work with Green Deal Advisors to complete Green Deal Advice Reports.
Green Deal Installer
Green Deal Installers will be certified by organisations accredited by UKAS to work to the Green Deal Standard and have been registered (once available) with the Green Deal Advisory Body. Installers are responsible for the installation of the energy efficient measures recommended via the Green Deal Advisor and Advice Report, i.e. new boilers, loft insulation, solar panels, etc.
Green Deal Provider
These are the organisations that provide Green Deal finance.
Green Deal Assessment Report
GDARs are essentially an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) with an additional Occupancy Assessment (OA) and are produced by a qualified Green Deal Advisor and issued at the request of the building owner. Green Deal Advice Reports are an extension of the EPC and offer further information on energy efficiency measures that can be installed in a building to reduce energy costs, based on individual behavioural patterns.
Energy Performance Certificate
An EPC provides a rating for the energy performance of a home from A to G, where A is very efficient and G is very inefficient. The rating is based on factors such as age, property layout, construction, heating, lighting, and insulation. The ratings are standard so a home owner or tenant can compare the energy efficiency of one home easily with another. The typical rating for a home is D or E.