The Coalition Government’s long-heralded Green Deal energy efficiency initiative the Green Deal was launched this morning (January 28).
The Green Deal scheme means that householders can take out a loan to improve the efficiency of their homes, with no real upfront cost, repaying the finance via levy on their electricity bills.
Having had their homes assessed by an authorised Green Deal Assessor the householder contacts a Green Deal Provider to arrange the finance and for the work to be carried out. The work, carried out by a registered Green deal Installer is paid for via the household electricity bill.
The loan will carry an interest rate of between 6 and 9%, depending on what rate the provider has set it at and will remain with the house. Should the property be sold, the debt remains with the new house purchasers. Likewise, in the social housing sector, the debt is the responsibility of the tenant, who will benefit from the reduced energy bills, rather than the landlord.
Measures that can be paid for under the Green Deal include:
· insulation – eg loft or cavity wall insulation
· double glazing
· renewable energy technologies – eg solar panels or wind turbines
Builders merchants groups Wolseley UK and Grafton Group have signed up as Green Deal providers while Travis Perkins and NMBS have established partnerships with Green Deal Providers Toiriga Energy and Unity Green Deal, respectively.
Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: “The Green Deal is also great for business, creating a new market and new jobs. I’m truly excited about the potential the Green Deal has to transform Britain’s buildings.
He launched the scheme with a national advertising campaign using the slogan ‘Rising energy bills? Green Deal with it’.
Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg said: “The UK green sector is a success story – it is the sixth largest in the world and has a crucial part to play in building a strong economy.
“The Green Deal will support thousands of jobs – not just over the next few years, but in the long-term.”
However, the gap between the old CERT-funded insulation grant regime ending and the Green Deal starting has been blamed for 1,700 job losses in the insulation industry since December.
According to the Insulation Industry Forum, nearly 50,000 insulation installations have been canceled or put on hold and thousands of jobs have already been lost.