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Government’s Green Deal not necessarily the best deal, says surveyors

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The government's Green Deal has been criticised over concerns over whether or not the deal is the most cost effective for consumers.

The Residential Property Surveyors Association (RPSA) has raised concerns over the finance mechanism and the future risks for conveyancers, estate agents and home buyers stemming from the Green deal which is set to help customers reduce their energy consumption and to reduce energy bills.

Chairman of the RPSA, Alan Milstein, said: “The Green Deal is a strong concept that could significantly help homeowners and tenants to reduce their energy consumption and as a result, reduce their fuel bills too.

“However, as the first Green Deal finance schemes come into place, our members have voiced a number of concerns about whether a Green Deal loan is actually the most cost effective route for many consumers, while highlighting a number of risks for the wider property profession.”

The RPSA highlights that for many customers taking on the loan may not be the most cost effective mechanism to fund any green improvements to their property and it will be important that consumers can access advice on the full range of financing mechanisms available to them.

Milstein continued: “For many consumers, taking on a Green Deal loan may not be the With early repayment penalties and the uncertainty surrounding how having a Green Deal loan attached to your property will impact on the future saleability of the property, for many homeowners it may be advisable to look at alternative ways to fund any energy efficiency measures, which they plan to introduce.”

The RPSA also added that the Green Deal could result in extra work for agents and conveyancers as under the existing guidance, it will be the responsibility of the homeowner to advise if any Green Deal finance is attached to their property, when they come to sell.

However, this information could slip though the net and if an old EPC is incorrectly supplied, a new owner could unwittingly find themselves liable for a loan they didn’t expect.

Millstein added: “For those buyers who commission a Home Condition Survey (HCS) on their potential new home, they will enjoy the reassurance that as part of this survey, a copy of the most up to date EPC will be sourced, ensuring that any information relating to a Green

“Deal loan will be highlighted, early on in the process. Of course, this will not cover the four out of five of buyers who don’t commission a property survey at all – the majority of whom mistakenly believe that the lender’s valuation constitutes their survey.”


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