The Green Deal initiative launches on 28 January. It will offer households and businesses the opportunity to undertake a wide range of energy efficiency property upgrades at no upfront cost.
They will be able to pay for the work through a modest levy on their energy bills that will not exceed the savings that result from the improvements.
There has been a lot written in the press about the Green Deal since the energy efficiency home improvement scheme was written into government legislation on 1 October.
But as a consumer, where do you stand and where can you find out more?
Here are the need-to-know facts:
How do I get a Green Deal Plan?
You need to have an assessment to see if you qualify for Green Deal Finance and what home improvement measures can be installed on your property.
A Green Deal Assessor will visit you in your home, talk to you about your property and your energy use and help you decide if you could benefit from Green Deal improvements.
What happens during the Green Deal Assessment?
To give you an accurate assessment, your assessor (who is sometimes called a Green Deal Adviser) may ask you numerous questions such as:
• How many people live in your home
• The types of appliances and heating used
• How often the heating system is used
• If you have any current energy-saving measures installed
• Whether you own or rent the property
• Whether your home is in a conservation area, built before 1900 or constructed in a non-traditional way
The assessor will recommend improvements and indicate whether they are expected to pay for themselves through reduced energy costs.
The actual energy savings will depend on how much energy you use and the future costs of energy.
The cost of the improvements will depend on the price quoted by Green Deal Providers. All of this information will be provided to you in a Green Deal Advice Report.
What happens after the Green Deal Assessment?
Your assessor should give you an understanding of the types of improvements you could make to your home. But they should also give you various documents such as:
• An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) showing the energy use of a typical household of your type, plus suggestions for improvements.
• An Occupancy Assessment (OA) showing how your household uses energy.
• Some recommendations for reducing your energy use and the savings you can expect from the improvements.
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