A surprising 96% of the British Public have not heard about The Green Deal or understand it, so what is it? Simply, the Green Deal is intended to help finance home improvements such as solar panel installation, insulation, double glazing or even the purchase of a new boiler through government loans paid off incrementally via energy bills According to the government repayments should be no more than what a typical household should save in energy costs. So, saving money and being more eco-friendly, it sounds good right?
What then, is the process involved in the Green Deal? Well, first of all a ‘green deal assessor’ will come to your property to discuss your energy use with you and see if you could benefit from making eco-friendly improvements. They will also be able to tell you whether the suggested improvements are expected to pay for themselves through reduced energy bills. Green deal providers will the offer a quote for the work recommended.
Your chosen green deal provider will then write you up a green deal plan which will act as a contract between you and the provider. It should set out the work that will that will be done and the repayments, including the fixed interest rate. Once you have agreed to a green deal plan, your provider will arrange for a green deal installer to carry out the installation process. Green deal repayments will be automatically added to the electricity bill for the home. That seems fairly straight forward, but what about the interest rate?
Well, Luciana Berger, the Labour shadow climate change minister said she was “extremely disappointed,” on the news that the basic rate of interest on any loan will be at least 6.96%, but could be as high as 9.34%. Richard Lloyd, the executive director of the watchdog organisation, Which? said he thought it “might work for some people but, as with any financial product, whether it’s a good deal for you will depend upon your personal and financial circumstances. Overall, people should tread carefully; check the small print and shop around.”
Like with most government proposals, they often find themselves shot down before they’ve even launched looking more like an archery target board in a barren field riddled with holes. So far the Guardian have already managed to set up a live blog which includes one journalists blow by blow account by calling local suggested green deal providers and asking for estimations. Out of the nine listed in her postcode, only 4 were able to indicate what the likely costs would be with other suppliers suggesting to call back at another date and that they weren’t ready to offer the service. This isn’t exactly a major offence since the proposal only launches today.
Interestingly, the Green Deal is not like a traditional personal loan, because it is attached to your property rather than you as an individual. Therefore this means that you will pass on to the next owner of your property if you decide to move. Obviously, it goes without saying that this could result in making your home less desirable if you decide to sell before paying back the loan. Like with most things, at such an early stage it is hard to see how successful the Green Deal will be. One issue that may be a point of contention is that the recommended installer list is a bit restricted, meaning that the consumer may not be able to choose the supplier that is right for them. However, it may be a simple case of waiting and seeing, as the proposal becomes more established the list of green deal providers may expand.
Bio: This article was written by Katherine Ogilvie on behalf of Brabingers who offer installation of Solar Panels in Poole. Visit their website to read more about the services they offer and they’re competitive rates.
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