Green deal grants for Brighton homes; funding for energy efficiency work, loft insulation and cavity wall insulation, help and advice...
The UK governments new Green Deal funding system, arriving October 2012
If your home is not a new-build, i.e. not built in the past twenty or thirty years, then you may well be living in a house from the 1940s or earlier. These properties are fine and solid, but are generally not very energy efficient. If you live in such a property then you may well be entitled to a new "Green Deal Grant:, but that grant is not a handout as many believe, that grant is a type of loan, the repayment of which is added to your home as an attachment, and your electricity bill will be altered to start collecting the cost of the work undertaken. When you sell your home, in years or decades to come, you or your children will have to repay the cost of the energy efficiency grant less the balance already paid
The benefit of the funding is that you pay little now, and for the next decade you save money by benefiting from the energy savings, but the cost savings of a lower electricity bill will be offset by a repayment factor being added back onto your electricity bill. That bill should (hopefully) fall with the savings, and then rise again with repayments for the work done.
The much discussed "golden rule"
This rule is actually more of an aim and principal (as well as something of a hope), stated by the government, that the cost of the work carried out should be recovered at least by the energy savings witnessed across many years. Naturally, you will have to live at the property for at least 5 years or more to balance the savings against the cost of the work carried out on your home.
"The Energy Act 2011 includes provisions for the new 'Green Deal', which intends to reduce carbon emissions cost effectively by revolutionising the energy efficiency of British properties. The new innovative Green Deal financial mechanism eliminates the need to pay upfront for energy efficiency measures and instead provides reassurances that the cost of the measures should be covered by savings on the electricity bill."
Green deal fucnding for business properties
The new Green Deal funding initiative is not just for private homeowners, it extends to businesses as well. There are many small businesses that work out of large and old housing stock, such doctors, dentists, solicitors, accountants, all working out of premises that were once domestic residences.
There would be a building assessment made as with a domestic property, and the Golden Rule would still be applied, in that the cost of the planned improvements undertaken should not exceed the expected savings gained over many years.
In a controversial move that will probably see many problems and legal action, a tenant business may gain the Green Deal without permission from the landlord, despite the fact that the tenant business would have signed a lease agreeing no major building works without the consent of the landlord. The two fly in the face of each other. The landlord, however, must seek the tenant's permission for planned works for commence.
Accredited scheme sellers and installers
Both private and business applicants for the Green Deal will need to use accredited sellers and installers, they cannot have the work done and apply retrospectively. Beware of builders making claims, and of assessors that are not qualified. If you have insulation work done that is not agreed and properly licensed then you will have to pay for it as normal.
When you apply for a Green Deal funding package, you are not applying directly to the UK Government or dealing with the Government, you are dealing with middle men as sellers of the Green Deal. Such people are (hopefully) accredited and licensed by the Government.
The long term benefits
If you live in an older property, one that gets very cold during the winter, and you plan on staying there for 20 years, finally leaving the property to your kids (or adopted kids, or the cat sanctuary), then you may make back several times the value of the work done to make the property energy efficient. The longer you stay, the greater the savings, it's as simple as that.
In a nutshell
If your home is old and cold, and costs a fortune to heat, then you may want to spend money on energy efficiency. The capital cost of that work might put your off, and you may not be able to afford it right now. The Green Deal allows the work to be done for no upfront payment, but an increased or level electricity bill for many years, and finally when you sell the property any remaining balance is paid off.
The benefit will be that you are warmer of a winter's night, not that you'll have a great deal more money in your pocket each week, but the hope is that you will also save some money from the energy efficiency. And, collectively, we all benefit from less carbon emissions - which is a good thing.
Green Deal site surveys
In order to qualify for the new Green Deal funding scheme you will need to have a survey done of your home or business, and you will need 3 separate quotes for the proposed energy efficiency work to be done. Those quotes will need to be sent to the seller of the Green Deal, who is not the person doing the building work - they are separate.
A Green Deal advisor is qualified (and accredited don't forget) to carry out the work, and may work for a Green Deal Supplier such as an energy company. That advisor will inspect your property and make an assessment, giving you a written assessment, and they will highlight your various options under the Green Deal.
If you have already had cavity wall insulation fitted, and your lost if insulated, there may be little left under the Green Deal that you can benefit from, except solar PV and solar thermal systems (some sunshine may be required). You will need to ask your advisor for details of qualification.
Note. If you property is a modern build, and already has an energy efficiency rating then there will be little under the scheme that applies to you.
Green Deal funding
Many UK householders, and even tenants, as well as businesses, will be able to receive energy efficiency improvements under the new scheme, all enjoying no upfront costs - just lengthy repayments.
The cost of the proposed work to be done will be added to the properties energy bills, as well as an attachment against the property for when it is sold. It is hoped that electricity bills will not rise much after the work is done, and that the cost of the work will be spread over many years. It is hoped, by the government, that each recipient of the deal will be better off.
Typical work budgets might be £6,750 - £9,500 on average, so as you can imagine that will take a long time to pay off as a small amount added to your electric bill. The householder should be much warmer, but will see the energy savings paid for as part of a highter electricity bill.
Background to the new Green Deal funding scheme
The Energy Act 2011 includes provisions for the government's new 'Green Deal', which aims to reduce carbon emissions cost effectively by revolutionising the energy efficiency of British properties, by retrofitting older properties with cavity wall insulation, loft insulation as well solar PV or solar thermal systems.
The Green Deal financial mechanism aims to eliminate the need to pay upfront capital costs for energy efficiency measures and instead provides the opportunity for the cost of the work done to be covered by savings on the energy bill.
Note. Those savings will be negated in part by an increase in energy bills to cover the cost of the work. The Green Deal is not a freebie, you will have to pay the cost of the building work back.
A new Energy Company Obligation will operate hand in hand with the Green Deal, allowing supplier subsidy and Green Deal Finance to come together into one seamless offer to the end consumer.
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