Question: I have recently heard of something called "the Green Deal". What is it, how does it work — and how do I get a slice of the action?
© Merrily Harpur
Answer: The Green Deal, launched in January 2013, aims to help both householders and businesses to boost the energy efficiency of properties and cut greenhouse gas emissions. It is a way of financing the cost of energy efficiency improvements through savings on energy bills.
It enables a householder or business to make energy-saving improvements without having to pay all the costs up front. Improvements include insulation, such as loft or cavity wall insulation; draught proofing; double glazing and solar panels. There is a code of practice setting out the criteria that assessors, providers and installers must follow to operate under the Green Deal banner.
The code aims to ensure all participants act fairly, transparently and effectively. You arrange a visit from a Green Deal assessor, who will inspect the property, provide an advice report to suggest improvements and estimate the savings there will be on energy bills.
Then, contact a Green Deal provider who will discuss work to be done and a suitable deal. You will have to sign a Green Deal Plan with the provider who will arrange for the work to be done by an installer.
The cost, shown on the Green Deal Plan, is based on what you are likely to save on energy bills and is repaid through your electricity bills. Do note that interest is payable.
Your electricity supplier will pass the payments on to your Green Deal provider. If you move, the new occupier will be responsible for the payments as the charge is attached to the electricity meter, but the new occupant will of course benefit from a more energy-efficient property.
What's your problem?
If you have a question for Fiona McNulty, email email@example.com. We regret that questions cannot be answered individually.
Fiona is a partner in the residential real estate team at Thring LLP (www.thrings.com).
These answers can only be a very brief commentary on the issues raised and should not be relied on as legal advice. No liability is accepted for such reliance. If you have similar issues, you should obtain advice from a solicitor.