Please note that as of July 2015, the government has stopped funding the Green Deal. The info on this page is for reference purposes only. To find out more about this and how it affects you if you already have a Green Deal loan, click here.
The Green Deal is the government's flagship scheme to help ensure the UK's ageing infrastructure improves its energy efficiency. The effort is part of a wider push to reduce the UK's carbon emissions as required by the EU.
The central idea behind the Green Deal is imply that energy efficiency upgrades cost a significant amount upfront, but take a while to return cash savings in the form of lower energy bills.
The Green Deal provides an upfront loan to cover the initial costs. This loan is repaid through energy bills over time; energy bills which should be lower thanks to the changes. In effect, the amount you require to pay back the loan should never be more than the amount you save on your energy bills.
While this may sound simple the process requires an initial assessment of your home's suitability, a quote for works, and the calculations of how much you will repay each month, quarter or year. But how do you know who to trust to carry out the work? That's where the 'Green Deal Mark' comes in.
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Green Deal Mark
Only authorised Green Deal installers will be allowed to install energy efficiency measures like insulation.
The Green Deal Mark allows authorised installers to identify them to you. Consequently you should always look out for the Green Deal Mark before agreeing to have works undertaken.
What will be covered?
To get the Green Deal Mark installers have to meet the PAS 2030 requirements and abide by the Green Deal Code of Practice
The PAS 2030 requirements lay out the installation processes and what is required from installers before, during and after installation. They cover:
- Condensing boilers, natural gas-fired and liquefied petroleum gas-fired (domestic and non-domestic)
- Condensing boilers, oil-fired (domestic and non-domestic)
- Heating controls
- Under-floor heating
- Flue-gas recovery devices
- Gas-fired warm-air heating systems (domestic and non-domestic)
- Electric storage heaters (domestic and non-domestic)
- Cavity wall insulation
- Loft insulation
- Pitched roof insulation
- Flat roof insulation
- Internal wall insulation
- External wall insulation
- Hybrid wall insulation
- Draught proofing
- Floor insulation
- Heating system insulation (pipes and cylinders
- Energy efficient glazing and doors
- Lighting fittings
- Lighting controls (non-domestic)
- Ground and air source heat pumps
- Solar thermal
- Solar PV
- Biomass boilers
- Micro-combined heat and power (CHP)
- Micro- and small-scale wind turbine systems
How do Green Deal installers register?
From August 2012 installers can join the Green Deal register. Registration will be governed by the Green Deal Oversight and Registration Body.
What is the Green Deal process?
The Green Deal is fundamentally a loan covering a big initial upfront payment for energy-saving measures that is then repaid over time through your energy bills.
The first step is to identify what energy-saving measures are suitable for you and your home, and crucially how much they will cost, both initially and overtime in the form of repayments.
This initial assessment phase is carried about by so-called Green Deal Assessors who survey your home and provide a report detailing the exact works required. A Green Deal report is what you will then take to your Green Deal provider who will use it to agree the work to be undertaken, and how big a loan is required.
A typical Green Deal assessment will cost around £120 but prices may vary, so make sure you shop around first. Some assessors are linked to, or are themselves, Green Deal providers, and may offer you a free assessment in return for you undertaking the work through them. While this may save you money on the initial assessment it is still worth shopping around and working out the long-term costs.
Similarly providers will all offer the service, whether it be wall insulation or solar panels, at different costs and repayment rates, so do your homework before agreeing to anything.
Should you always use the Green Deal?
Whether or not you use the Green Deal to finance your energy-saving upgrades depends almost entirely on whether you have the upfront costs covered or not. If you have enough money to pay for the work yourself upfront it will work out cheaper in the long-term, as the loan includes interest costs.
Some of the most effective solutions, like wall-insulation, can be very expensive to install, but also offer significant savings on your energy bills.
What's more, depending on your income and where you live, you may be eligible for grants or financial support. If you are in a lower-income household, or currently receive benefits, contact your local council to inquire about financial support for energy-efficiency upgrades.
Similarly, some of the most cost-effective energy-saving upgrades are relatively cheap to install and can be done yourself, before you even consider larger works paid through the Green Deal.
Loft insulation and draught-proofing are simple first steps - along with ensuring your home is fitted with energy-saving light-bulbs and that the timer on your thermostat is correctly set up - that will help you save on your energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint.
Loft insulation is also relatively easy to install and can save you a lot of money. To learn more read our guide to lost-insulation. Draught proofing meanwhile is even easier to install and can be purchased at your local DIY or hardware store. To learn how to install your own draught-proofingdraught-proofing read our guide.