The Green Deal is now open for business, offering property owners across the UK the opportunity to boost the energy efficiency of their home and benefit from cost savings in the process.
However, many people remain confused about exactly what the Green Deal entails and how it will affect them. Below are some common Green Deal myths, explained and debunked.
‘Only certain homeowners can apply’
This is not true – anybody that owns a property can apply for an assessor to ascertain whether their home is suitable for energy efficient improvements, and how beneficial these could be.
‘It will put me into debt’
Not necessarily – people will only pay back what they save through energy bills. According to the government, the amount paid back will be equal to or even less than the amount they save through the energy efficiency work being carried out.
‘I’ll never feel the benefit of it’
It will take a while, but the loan is paid back by the energy supplier, and once it is paid off (in ten to 20 years’ time), people will be able to feel the true cost savings through the work done.
‘The cost savings will be the same every month’
This is unlikely due to a number of factors, but mainly because it will be based on average savings predictions.
Predictions will take many things into consideration, including the size of the property, number of rooms not heated, the thermostat setting and hours heating is used, and the average occupancy of the property.
‘I don’t need insulation so I can’t benefit’
People can take advantage of far more than insulation installation through the Green Deal. As well as loft and cavity wall insulation, the scheme can pay towards the cost of underfloor heating, new boilers, double glazing, draught-proofing and even solar panels, plus many more energy-efficiency measures.
‘The assessment will cost a fortune’
Although some assessors are charging more than £100 to survey the home and determine its suitability for measures, not every organisation is charging this, with some even paying for the entire assessment if the homeowner then chooses them to carry out the improvements.
‘I can take the loan with me if I move house’
The Green Deal loan is actually attached to the property, not the person, so the new homeowners will be the ones who take on the loan and benefit from the savings through their electricity bills.
‘I can’t pay upfront and receive all the benefits immediately’
On the contrary – those who pay upfront can have the work carried out and also avoid paying interest on the cost of carrying out work. They can still take advantage of the initial cashback offer on the deal and will immediately notice the savings through their electricity bills.
‘People on a low income can’t afford it’
Help is at hand for those on low incomes in the form of the energy Company Obligations Scheme, which requires the Big Six energy companies to help customers on low incomes by providing them with grants to have the work carried out.
‘I can only have one type of improvement carried out’
Not true – people can have multiple energy efficiency improvements carried out on their property, up to a value of £10,000, so those who can benefit from a new boiler, cavity wall insulation and a water source heat pump can have all three installed and feel the benefit.
‘If anything goes wrong I’m not protected’
As it is a government scheme, the Green Deal has significant protection around it. If anything goes wrong, consumers can contact the Green Deal Ombudsman, Office of Fair Trading or energy regulatory Ofgem, which will each advise them on the best course of action and provide the required support.