The Green Deal cashback scheme was declared open for business by energy secretary Ed Davey, who promised homeowners across England and Wales that energy saving has “never been so attractive”.
A £125 million pot has been allocated to the scheme, with those wishing to take advantage required to book a Green Deal property assessment and be ready to have improvements installed from January 28th.
Packages can be worth in excess of £1,000, with the initial rates guaranteed from 28 January until the first £40 million is spent.
All part of the plan
It is part of the wider Green Deal, which provides homeowners with loans to make energy-saving improvements to their homes, ranging from loft and cavity wall insulation to new heating systems.
The costs are then repaid through expected savings on energy bills in the months and years ahead, with the ultimate intention of fostering a greener, cleaner society with lower energy bills across the country.
Mr Davey described the Green Deal as a “great offer” for people to insulate their homes from the cold, as well as shielding their finances from rising energy prices.
“With cashback too, energy saving has never been so attractive. Our Cashback Scheme is a generous offer but it’s first-come, first-served so householders need to be quick off the mark,” he explained.
“This also sends a clear message to the industry that the Green Deal is coming. Green Deal providers and businesses in the supply chain need to start gearing up to take full advantage of what promises to be an exciting new market.”
Act fast or miss out
With the rates only guaranteed for the first £40 million and interested expected to be high, Mr Davey urged people to have assessments carried out and be prepared for improvements before January 28th to avoid missing out.
The Cashback Scheme is limited to one per household, though covers an array of energy efficiency enhancements providing the householder contributes to installation costs and the work is overseen by an authorised Green Deal Provider.
The initiative also applies to private or social landlords, who can take advantage if they are carrying out improvements and paying costs themselves, while there is also an option for “community minded” households to donate their cashback to registered charities and Community Interest Companies.
The government has also promised that the worst-off households and those in harder to treat properties may have energy efficiency measures installed for free, or at a significantly subsidised cost.
This will fall under the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), which is available to some homes early this year and sees major energy suppliers pay towards the cost of improvements, up to a total of £1.3 billion.
Progress being made
Neil Schofield, head of external and governmental affairs at Worcester Bosch, said the opening of the Cashback Scheme “really underlines” the progress being made on the Green Deal.
As well as being a great offer for consumers, it will help to attract early customers so is good news for business as well, he added.
“This is a clear signal that the Green Deal is building momentum and I’m delighted there is such a strong incentives scheme in place to encourage early take up. We’re excited about how this could open up the energy efficiency market.”
Homeowners wanting to find out more about the Green Deal and book a property assessment can call the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234.