The Green Deal is a government initiative with the aim of making 14m properties across the country more energy efficient. This is in a desperate bid to reduce the carbon emissions currently being released into the atmosphere. The government has set itself a target of reducing these emissions by 80% by the year 2050; a big goal that needs ambitious measures to take place in order to be met. It is no surprise then, that this month we are seeing the launch of “the biggest home improvement scheme since the Second World War”, as coined by climate minister Nick Clegg.
The appeal of the Green Deal comes from the idea that home owners will be able to give their homes necessary energy efficiency upgrades at no upfront cost. This is due to the “golden rule” of the Green Deal. This states that property improvements will be financed by the Green Deal Loan; a financial system that allows the property owner to pay back for improvements in monthly installments through their energy bills. Now here’s the clever bit: the money paid towards improvements will never be allowed to exceed the money the property owner saves on their energy bills. Hence, the owner of any energy inefficient property can have it spruced up by Green Deal Installers, without the usual pinch of heavy upfront costs.
It all seems a bit too good to be true, and now perhaps it is. A Guardian survey of the 24 listed Green Deal Assessors found that, out of the 18 that were contactable, 5 claimed they would be charging an upfront fee for these assessments ranging from £95-150. Ouch! After months of being told that there will be no upfront cost involved in this revolutionary scheme, property owners are bound to be releasing some “tuts” and raising some “I told you so” eyebrows at this news.
It is now feared that, despite the savings that will be inevitably made by property owners in the long run, they will be put off ever taking part in the scheme if faced with these upfront costs. After all, times are hard in Britain, and with Christmas lurking in very recent past, nobody has buckets of spare cash laying around.
However, what is vital to remember at this crucial moment for the Green Deal Scheme is that its long term benefits are invaluable to both the planet and property owners. Not only will the Green Deal help the ever-more damaged environment, it will significantly increase the value of properties and make them more comfortable places to live.
So don’t be too quick to judge the Green Deal; it means good and will hopefully be allowed to do good.