Green Deal

February 4th, 2013 by Dale Hoyland Leave a reply »

In this article, I wanted to take the opportunity to introduce Sustainable Witney readers (those of you not already well acquainted with this new landscape of gaining energy-efficiency improvements, as I know a lot of you already are!) to the ‘Green Deal’ which officially launched last week.

The Green Deal is a government scheme created under the Energy Act 2011. It provides a framework for householders to access energy saving measures at no up-front cost. So, what does this mean to you and I? Well, you’d get an initial ‘Green Deal assessment’ to look at which home improvements would be of greatest benefit, and that fits within the ‘Golden Rule’ – more on this later. This assessment would be specific to you and your property, so would look both at the building (how well insulated, size, external walls, etc) and the occupancy use of it (previous energy use, number of children, typical hours in the property, etc).

If you wished to install, for example, solid wall insulation and a new high efficiency condensing boiler, then you’d get a low-interest loan for the costs involved. The Golden Rule states that the payback of this loan should come from the predicted savings that you make as a result of the installed measures, and full payback must be made within 25 years (or earlier in the case of some technologies, such as a boiler that is guaranteed for less than this maximum). The loan is attached to the electricity meter, so wouldn’t need to be paid off when you sold your home, unless you choose to;- you can pass on the loan to the new owners. Repayments of the loan are therefore collected by your electricity supplier.

In the example above, if I saved £20 a month on my energy bills as a result of being better insulated and having a more efficient heating system, then £20 should be the maximum Green Deal repayment amount on my electricity bill: in theory you can’t lose.

Greg Barker, Minister of State has described the Green Deal as “the biggest home improvement programme since the Second World War”.

What’s happened to all the grants (I hear you ask)? Well true, the Green Deal is primarily a loan scheme, however, there is a grant element called ECO (‘Energy Company Obligation’), which will be included in your assessment if applicable. ECO is formed of three elements, which I won’t go into detail about now, but feel free to ask, or if you wish to search for more information now, here are the names of the three parts of ECO, all to help certain qualifying people (for example, people in fuel poverty), and measures (such as solid wall insulation), fit the Golden Rule and pay back within the 25 years maximum time period:

  • CERO: “Carbon Emission Reduction Obligation”
  • CSCO: “Carbon Saving Community Obligation”
  • HHCRO “Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation”

To deliver Green Deal at a local level, a Community Interest Company is currently being formed. If you’re interested in registering your interest for Green Deal, there is more information on the West Oxfordshire District Council website, with a link to register your interest: http://www.westoxon.gov.uk/environment/greenddeal.cfm

Additionally, residents of Witney (and indeed from across Oxfordshire) can call their local Affordable Warmth Network for help and advice on lowering fuel bills. This provides advice on insulation, heating, keeping warm, fuel debt, available grants & financial assistance, switching supplier, and a whole host of other helpful ways to save money and be more comfortable in your home, as well as to register interest for the forthcoming Community Interest Company. Call them on freephone 0800 107 0044. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

Finally, look out also for more announcements on the Thermal Imaging Project – public day coming up soon for people who have had their house imaged!

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