Thursday, 2 August 2012

Green Deal Information

At A1 Oxford we are intending to be Green Deal Advisors & Installers in Oxfordshire and the surrounding areas.

Here are the facts about the green deal:

Green Deal fast facts
The Green Deal is essentially a very cheap loan scheme to pay for energy-saving measures which will make the UK more energy-efficient.
Why is this being done? Firstly, our homes suffer from a shocking amount of heat loss. Secondly, Britain has ambitious targets for cutting carbon emissions, and the Green Deal is an important part of meeting those targets.
The golden rule of t
he Green Deal means the amount you save on your bills will always be greater than the cost of the energy-saving measures.
The cost - up to a current maximum of £6,500 - is absorbed into the future energy bills of your home and paid back over time.
An estimated 26,000,000 homes could be eligible for green deal financing.
What is the Green Deal?

The Green Deal will help fund energy-saving upgrades for your home without any upfront costs. Instead, the costs are added to your energy bills and staggered over time, like a loan.

So if you want to replace your boiler with a more energy-efficient model, or want to install draught-proofing or loft and wall insulation you can do so without the upfront cost.

You’ll still pay for them, but the cost will be repaid over time as an additional charge on your energy bill. However, the ‘golden rule’ of the Green Deal means that your repayments will have to be less than the money you will save on your energy bills.

The Green Deal is essentially a loan from the private companies installing these energy efficiency measures. There’s a maximum amount of £6,500 per household and, crucially, this is tied to the home rather than the owner, so if you move house the debt is passed on to whoever lives there next.

The loan is then paid back through the electricity bill over a 25-year period.

Unlike many other home improvements initiatives, the Green Deal is not dependent on people’s income and the loans are available to everyone.

How will it work?
From a customer point of a view there’s a few key steps you will have to take:

First, you need to decide what needs to be done to your home. You’ll have to get a property assessment, which will be done by specially accredited advisers who will visit your property and assess its current energy performance and what measures are suitable for you.

Next, shop around. Once you have the results of your assessment you can start collecting some quotes from Green Deal providers who will give you a range of quotes for the work.

Then all you have to do is choose which provider you prefer. The work can take place no upfront costs, and you’ll only start paying it back as an additional charge on your energy bills. However, you also have the option of paying for some of the work upfront if you want.

It’s worth bearing in mind that while your ‘deal’ won’t technically be a loan; the government has indicated your contract will be entitled to the protection given under the Consumer Credit Act, so they will have to adhere to the guidelines.

Will it save me money?
Yes. Energy-efficiency upgrades like insulation can save you up to £310 a year, while upgrading your to a more energy efficinet boiler can save you up to £300 a year.

While cost is often the main reason not to take up these offers, the Green Deal will make these savings available to everyone.

Can I still switch energy providers with the Green Deal?
Yes! Your green deal will be fully transferable between suppliers as it is a fixed amount.

What happens when I move house?
Your Green Deal will be tied to your property, not to you, so if you sell your property the debt will pass on to the next occupier.

The owner must therefore disclose any details of Green Deal payments when selling or letting their property.

What if I can’t pay anymore?
If you default on Green Deal payments you will be treated the same as customers who default on their energy bills. So, just like if you don’t pay your gas or electricity bill, you could be disconnected.

However their are some safeguards in place to avoid this scenario. Energy suppliers will have to go through a number of steps to help you to keep up with your payments, including prepayments meters, and no disconnection for certain households in winter months.

If you do feel like you are struggling to pay your energy bills, contact your supplier and see what options are available to you as soon as you can.

When is the Green Deal due to be launched?
October 2012. The Green Deal was part of the Energy Act, which came into force in October 2011, meaning the proposals under Green Deal itself should start to be rolled out in October this year.

However, don’t expect Green Deal mayhem straight away. There will probably be a few providers initially with a gradually expanding list to choose from.

What safeguards are in place?
The Green Deal has generated a huge amount of discussion, with a lot of concern centering around protection for customers.

However, there are already some protection measures already in place and the government has proposed further action, such as:

an assessment from an authorised assessor to determine what is suitable for you;
authorised installers meeting high standards;
existing legislation governing mis-selling, unfair trading practices and consumer credit agreements, so you should be;
clear obligations on Green Deal participants to work within a robust Code of Practice;
clear confirmation procedures before the Green Deal charge can start to be collected;
collection of the charge through the electricity bill, which is regulated by Ofgem;
clear processes to follow when a property changes hands, to ensure people know about the Green Deal before they move in; and
making it clear when a customer may be required to pay the Plan off early before a they enter into a Green Deal plan.
You can find out more on the Department of Energy and Climate Change website.

What energy efficiency measures are available to me now?
Lots! The costs of energy efficiency measures has tumbled in recent years, with products like solar panels and insulation becoming far more affordable and commonplace.

Some energy efficiency measures are already subsidised by energy suppliers, while some customers on certain benefits may be entitled to theirs entirely for free. Take a look at our insulation, boilers and solar pages for more information.

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