Thursday, 14 February 2013

Worried about UK energy bills? What about the Green Deal?

Worried about your rising energy bills? 
People are just realising that they do not have control over rising energy prices due to global economic forces such a competition from developing countries for fossil fuels.  Some large companies and organizations in the UK think that their bills could be almost double  in the next ten years. 

Many consumers are starting to think how their life would be affected if their energy bill rises considerably.  Even now people want to stabilise their bills at current levels, for as long as possible. Many people also want to cut down on the amount of fossil used, to contribute to the fight against damaging climate change. Many want to use less electricity (which has transmission losses) and is mostly generated from gas or coal. Some want to generate their own energy onsite - or even export it.  

The Green Deal has been launched to help consumers tackle these challenges with the current incentive of valuable Cashbacks - for those who sign up early. This is a time limited offer.

Where can I start?
Whether you live in a rural area, without gas, or on the gas grid, the place to start is with improving energy efficiency. This is because improving your property's energy efficiency is the most affordable and cost-effective measure anyone can do. Improved energy efficiency helps you limit the amount of energy you need to reach adequate thermal comfort  (so long as you do not turn up your thermostat!). On the gas grid, the most cost-effective heat technology, in a smaller property, is a gas condensing boiler which could save you around £100 a year. Owners of larger houses might think about micro combined heat and power (micro CHP) which generates electricity as well as heat. You can reduce heat losses from your property, using draught-proofing, roof and wall insulation.  With radiator controls, you can add further savingsOff the gas grid, you will want to improve your energy efficiency but you may also already be thinking about alternatives to oil, electricity or LPG, such as renewable heat, like ground or water source heat pumps, air source heat pumps or automated pellet-fed biomass boilers.

The Green Deal 
The Government has recently launched The Green Deal, to help improve the whole of the UK's building stock.  Consumers are offered an up-front loan for < 42 measures which they pay back over a long period, against The Golden Rule. The Golden Rule means that savings on energy bills meet the repayments on the loan. The Green Deal loan is attached to your electricity bill. There is interest to pay - but those who sign up early to the Green Deal should qualify for valuable Cashbacks to offset this. The Green Deal loan is attached to the house.  

Immediate benefits
If you are currently finding it hard to heat your home, the Green Deal should make you more comfortable, in the short term. You may also get constant hot water, using a COMBI boiler (but lose your hot tank).  With radiator controls on almost all your radiators, you can control your central heating in each room.  You can heat just one room in your house using automatic, thermostatic central heating.  Radiator controls are not mandatory but they are highly recommended, to save more money.

Understanding the Green Deal
The Green Deal (domestic) offers consumer loans on improvements to their properties for energy efficiency measures and some funding to support some the installation of renewables.  

Where can I start?
A good place to start is with your last Energy Performance Certificate and rating. The EPC for your property may be published on

The Energy Saving Trust’s interactive website called “Home Energy Check” helps you decide whether to go forward with Green Deal.  See

To understand how the Green Deal works see:

To understand how Green Deal Cashbacks work (time limited offer for those who sign up early) see:

Green Deal Measures

At the moment Green Deal finance can only be offered on 45 Green Deal eligible measures. See:

Applying for a Green Deal Assessment

You cannot engage with the Green Deal without having a Green Deal Assessment assessment.

For this you can either call  0300 123 1234 or access  

Consumers may have to identify themselves if there are any Green Deal Providers which offer free assessments byringing them one by one and asking.  Some companies undertake a Green Deal assessment for a fee but also deliver an EPC.

You can find further advice on:

The Green Deal and Renewables
Whilst renewables are eligible for the Green Deal, they will not, in most properties, fully meet the Golden Rule. However, consumers will be able, if they wish, to partially fund the renewable measure using a Green Deal Plan, with the loan size constrained by repayments being no higher than the value of the expected energy savings. Contributions from RHI or FITs cannot be counted as energy savings in this calculation. There is no Green Deal Cashback for renewables.

Eligible technologies for Green Deal support:
·         heat pumps (ASHP and GSHPs)
·         biomass boilers and biomass room heaters
·         micro CHP
·         micro wind
·         solar PV

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