It is a government initiative launched in 2013 to help homeowners and private tenants pay for home improvements that either save or generate energy.
What energy-saving or energy generation improvements can I get?
You can get a range of energy-saving or energy generation improvements, from loft, cavity or solid wall insulation through to double glazing, a new boiler or even solar panels. Below is an extensive, but not complete, list of improvements:
|Home Improvements Available|
| Cavity wall insulation
|| Underfloor heating
| Solid wall insulation
|| Boiler replacement
|| Wind generation
|| Thermal control
|| Biomass boilers
| Loft insulation
|| Solar panels
| Ground-source heating
|| Gas heat recovery
|| Hot water systems
What must I pay towards the Green Deal initiative?
Green Deal loans are repaid through your electricity bill but you will have to go through a typical credit check process to obtain it. The way the deal differs from a standard loan is that the repayments you’ll make on the loan will be covered by the energy bill savings you make from having the energy-saving home improvements installed. This system is known as the ‘Golden Rule’ – you should not pay back more in loan repayments than you are saving on your energy bill.
If you move out of the property, the new homeowner becomes responsible for paying the remaining balance. However, neither you or a potential future owner of the property need to make arrangements to repay anything, as it is handled through your energy company. To reiterate, that’s why your energy bill will remain the same until the loan is paid off. Then you will see a benefit as your bill will be reduced to reflect the energy savings made.
How long will I make repayments through my energy bill?
It will typically be over the course of between 10-25 years, as this is the minimum and maximum. The length is dictated by the type of energy-saving method you choose.
The loan is classed as an unsecured debt, which means the provider cannot take possession of your house if repayments are not made. However, as the debt comes through your energy bill, it will be paid if you pay your bill.
The government has stated that anyone who falls into arrears on their energy bills with a Green Deal loan attached is protected by the obligations on arrears followed by energy suppliers. This means that you must let your Green Deal provider know, and it will offer you advice and help work out a payment plan based on what you can afford.
Can I pay the loan back early?
If you have taken advantage of the Green Deal after May 2014, you can repay the loan at any time without an early repayment charge. However, if you took the loan out before this, we recommend you check your paperwork as there may be an early repayment fee.
Am I locked into one energy provider with the Green Deal?
Absolutely not! A whole host of energy providers (including the Big Six – British Gas, EDF, E.on, Npower, Scottish Power and SSE) are all part of the Green Deal Initiative as well as many more.
All energy providers that are part of the initiative have access to a central Green Deal database and they handle the switch entirely. This means that there is no extra work for you involved.
Help! I think I’ve been given false advice by someone
Don’t worry, the Green Deal has a specific Code of Practice that everyone involved must follow. To manage this, there is the Green Deal Ombudsman who you can speak to if you believe you’ve been given false information or have any issues.
More information: The Ombudsman Service Limited