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January 28, 2013

UK Householders Get 'Green Deal' on Home Energy Efficiency Improvements



Householders in England and Wales will be able to  “insulate their homes from the cold and their wallets from rising energy prices,” now that the Green Deal has become effective, according to the United Kingdom’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) Secretary, Edward Davey.

As of January 28, the UK is making £125 million (US$196 million) available for the Green Deal program, which will enable homeowners and landlords to install energy-efficient improvements at no upfront cost. Instead, they will be able to pay for the property upgrades over time via a charge on their electricity bills. What’s more, they can participate in a government Cashback Scheme if the assessed property improvements are eligible. Packages could be worth over £1,000 (US$1,570), and if they are feeling generous, householders can choose to donate some or all of the cash they receive to a charity or community organization that has signed on with the scheme.

The energy-saving improvements that DECC is encouraging include:

  • Insulation
  • Heating
  • Double-glazing on windows
  • Installation of distributed energy sources, such as solar panels or wind turbines.

The more work households decide to have done, the more cash they could receive. To qualify for the Cashback Scheme, prospective householders should schedule a Green Deal property assessment posthaste, because funds are limited on a first-come, first-served basis and the rush for remuneration will start this week.

Vendors also are gearing up. “This also sends a clear message to the industry that the Green Deal is coming. Green Deal Providers and businesses in the supply chain need to start [preparing] to take full advantage of what promises to be an exciting new market,” commented Neil Schofield, head of External and Governmental Affairs at Worcester Bosch, a manufacturer of heating and hot water appliances.

Speaking following the launch of the Green Deal, Thomas Farquhar from Easy Green Deal, which provides certification to vendors, said, “Today marks a very significant step for the entire industry and will be seen as great news by all the Green Deal Installers and Green Deal Advisors that have already been trained and approved in preparation for the launch.”  

The Green Deal had a “soft launch” on October 1, 2012, when the first Green Deal Assessments were permitted to take place. In addition, the first Green Deal Providers, Green Deal Assessment Organizations and Green Deal Installers have been able to become certified, and work has been able to take place under the Energy Company Obligation (ECO). The Energy Company Obligation supports those on lower incomes or those classed as “vulnerable” to have energy efficiency devices installed at a much lower price, or on a complimentary basis.



Image via Shutterstock

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg commented, "The Green Deal will help thousands of homes stay warm for less. Those people will benefit from energy saving improvements - and their energy bills will fall. 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."

The Green Deal is now the UK’s flagship energy efficiency improvement program, aiming to improve more than 14 million homes by 2020. The scheme will run for a limited period, and there’s a different scheme in Scotland.

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Edited by Allison Boccamazzo

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