Green Deal Scheme – Overview of the Initiative

What is the process?

Under the Deal there must be an Accredited Assessment which is likely to take the form of an Energy Performance Certificate. This assessment will show what improvements could be made to the property. If the improvements qualify for Green Deal Finance under the Golden Rule then an approved Deal Installer will undertake the improvement works. There is no upfront cost to the client and the repayments for the installation will be made through charges on the property utility bills.

What is the Golden Rule?

The Golden Rule is in two parts. First, the actual cost of installing the measure must be equal to or less than the potential savings that could be made from installing the measure. Second, the term of the repayments must be shorter than the expected product life. If the improvement doesn’t meet the Golden Rule then it will not qualify for the Green D Finance.

What is Green Deal Finance?

The Green Finance provides access to energy efficiency improvements at no upfront cost. If the improvement qualifies under the Golden Rule then the cost of the measure is paid back through savings made on the Utility Bill. These repayments will be form part of a charge levied over the property Utility Bills which will continue regardless of future owner or tenant, until the cost is repaid. The payments will be deducted by the Utility Provider and will be covered by the Consumer Credit Act. Before the Green Deal Finance can be agreed and the improvement installed express consent must be given by all interested parties, in particular the Utility Bill Payer.

What happens if the property is sold or let to a new tenant?

The charge on the Utility Bills through Deal Finance belongs to the property and the Utility Bill payer. Whoever is paying the bills will have to continue to pay the Green Deal Finance cost.

What improvements are likely to be available?

The improvements are likely to include insulation improvements, such as loft and cavity wall insulation; heating system changes, such as boiler upgrades; and renewable technologies, such as solar panels. Any improvements would have to be installed by a certified and approved Green Deal Provider who will be qualified installers for the product.

Basics of the Green Deal Scheme

The Green Deal is a UK energy efficiency program aimed at modernizing the millions of homes across the country which are completely lacking when it comes to being efficient in energy related matters. This flagship programme, which was launched in October 2012, is open to every UK resident who wishes to take the necessary steps to help cut draught and heat loss via several different steps. A significant feature of the Green Deal is its aim of reducing energy consumption in a typical household, which should go a long way to reducing energy bills, especially with the ever-increasing prices reported in the market.

It is estimated that the properties in the UK are among the most wasteful in relation to heat loss in the Western world. A high-volume of waste is noticed in relation to numerous practices seen in office buildings. Also, for the domestic resident who might have the thermostat up high in a draughty property, which might keep the resident in some degree of comfort, but will be quite expensive in relation to energy costs. This is also likely to be very unsustainable for the environment in general.

A key feature behind the creation of the Green Deal is to help with reducing leaking carbon, which comes mostly from the high number of properties leaking heat. It has been well-established that the right installation in wall cavities and loft spaces goes a long way to reducing the amount of carbon emission leaked from a typical residence. Installation features as part of the Green Deal package and is one of the more notable energy-efficient improvements available. If the right steps are implemented it is believed that many families will be able to lift themselves out of fuel poverty. Consumers are starting to be encouraged to implement a comprehensive range of measures which should help homes be much more fuel-efficient in future years.

In order to benefit from the energy-efficient measurements offered in the Green Deal, it will be necessary for an accredited adviser to visit a property to establish its existing energy efficiency and then to decide what improvements might be made. Green Day advisers are only concerned with the suitability of the particular property; no other criteria will come into play, including the available funds a homeowner might have. An adviser will also offer practical advice on what action might be taken to help with reducing a properties carbon footprint even further.

DIY Green Energy – The Underlying Philosophy

 When we look at green energy technology it’s clear that two or more philosophies are at work here. There are major, often publicly-funded projects, such as offshore wind farms that use collections of turbines over 300 feet high and designed to provide enough green energy to run several small towns. Or there are hydro-electric and wave-power schemes that may cost hundreds of millions of dollars and take decades to come to fruition.

The philosophy here is often related to political expediency as governments use their ostensibly green credentials to win votes and remain in power. This might be somewhat cynical but often we find that such large schemes are badly thought through and often have running and maintenance costs far in excess of original expectations.

The small scale approach

Then there is the small scale approach in which green energy generation is designed for either small groups of houses, or perhaps a small industrial unit or even individual homes. The market for green energy generating equipment is now growing at a very high rate despite the poor economies in much of the developed world. However, purpose-built green energy equipment, such as solar panel heating arrays, solar pv arrays and wind turbines are still expensive for the average householder.

So for anyone wanting to cut their energy costs and reduce their carbon footprint but is not in a position to invest the large sums that commercially produced equipment demand, the Do It Yourself route is the only one available to us.

The DIY Green Energy approach

Now some people consider the DIY movement, if we can call it a movement, to be a penny-pinching way of doing things that has meant the death-knell of the professional tradesman. Others would see it as a nursery ground for ingenuity and recycling.

Doing things for yourself can be a very rewarding experience. To be able to understand a problem, think it through, and then experimentally and incrementally arrive at a practical solution is not only very satisfying but it is very instructive too. 

DIY Green Energy Guides

If you want to venture into the world of DIY green energy generation then there is plenty of help out there. The guides that now proliferate on the internet provide a wealth of information, not only on how and where to source the parts you’ll need at the lowest possible prices but also on construction methods and, crucially, the theory too.

You will find as you embark on your solar panel or wind turbine projects that understanding the theory of how and why the systems work is very helpful if you want to deviate from the explicit instructions in the guides. 

The philosophy of DIY matches up with that of green energy generation perfectly. They both represent an approach to self-sufficiency that seems to have been declining ever since the second world war. However, it may be that a resurgence of the indomitable spirit of the do it yourselfer is in the offing. Large-scale schemes may be the province of governments but for individuals the do it yourself approach to green energy generation is the perfect solution to cutting your costs and reducing your carbon footprint at the same time.