Green Deal moves a step closer

The Government’s replacement for the warm-front home energy efficiency scheme – the Green Deal – could be worth up to £10,000 of energy efficiency measures for your home.

Ministers are already drawing up plans for the new scheme to be vigorously protected from shoddy workmanship, with strict rules on the accreditation levels home improvement companies will have to attain, to be able to carry out work.

The Green Deal will help homeowners install energy efficiency improvements without having to pay up front for the installation costs. Instead, the cost savings a homeowner would have made on their energy bills will be used to pay back the installation costs.

There’s no details yet of which home improvements will qualify or homes for that matter, however, the Government is already considering plans to help vulnerable people and homes that may be hard to treat with the Green Deal.

A new ‘Green Deal Code’ has been proposed to help protect homeowners throughout the process – from initial assessment to final installation. There’s also plans for a Green Deal advice helpline, to assist homeowners with impartial advice and referral to accredited installers, as well as dealing with any complaints.

Whilst the double glazing industry hopes replacement windows will be one of the efficiency measures announced, it’s more likely that the scheme will still be restricted to predominately loft and wall insulation, although replacement energy efficient heating boilers may be included – depending on the overall cost savings such an installation will provide, compared against the cost of initial installation.

Renewables and micro-generation companies are also waiting to see if their products will be included in the list of ‘approved’ measures.

The ‘up-front’ money for the improvements is going to be provided my a mix of Government and private investment, including, it’s rumoured, some familiar high street names.

UPDATE: Since this story was first written, it’s been suggested by spokespersons at the DECC that the £10,000 cap may not be correct and that in fact, providing the energy saving / efficiency method proposed can re-coup its initial installation cost within a given time-frame, then there may be no cap at all.

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