Can I get a grant?

The Green Deal is a loan scheme, not a grant. You have to pay the loan back, although it will cut your overall household energy costs.

Since June 2014, there is a new Green Deal Home Improvement Fund. This pays a grant of up to £1,000 if yu do 2 measures recommended on your EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) or Green Deal Assessment Report (see below), and up to £6,000 for solid wall insulation. 

How does the Green Deal work? 

You get an assessment done by a qualified Green Deal assessor.  They must be part of an approved Green Deal Assessment Organisation.  They assess your home and give you an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate).  They also ask questions about your lifestyle.  Then they give you a Green Deal report.  
A Green Deal report gives a list of things that the Green Deal could help you do to your home, with an indication of how much energy each would save, and how much each would cost. To qualify for Green Deal Loan, you will need this assessment and then you can contact a Green Deal provider to arrange for the work to be done.

Can I get free insulation?

Possibly.  The Insulate Hampshire scheme which gave everyone free insulation has ended but some suppliers are still offering help, or the Home Improvement Fund may give you a grant.

Is the Green Deal the only way to get advice on how to cut my energy use at home? 

A Green Deal Assessor will not give detailed advice tailored to your home, tell you about anything that does not qualify for the Gren Deal, or handle anything outside the normal run of things.

If you would like an Energy Assessment for your own use which is not part of the Green Deal but is specifically tailored to your personal wishes, there are alternatives. Local company ExpertEnergy offer a 10% discount off all prices as advertised on their website to people who mention WinACC to them, and they give a donation to WinACC for the referral. ExpertEnergy provide energy and thermal imaging surveys for homeowners and businesses. It may also be possible to include thermal imaging.

What's the point of a Green Deal report?

The report gives a list of things that could be done to your home, with an indication of how much energy each would save, and how much each would cost. You can choose to do all, some or none of the things on the list. 

Unfortunately, the Green Deal Assessment Report will not tell you whether you are entitled to a grant from  Green Deal Home Improvement Fund, or from ECO (the Energy Company Obligation). The Green Deal Assessment report also does not tell you about feed-in tariff (FIT) or Renewable Heat Incentive.

How do I get the works done, and paid for?

If you decide to do at least some of the things, you still have the choice to opt out of or stay with the Green Deal. If you prefer, you can opt out of the Green Deal at this point, and find your own builders to make any of the improvements you choose.

If you want to get the  Green Deal Home Improvement Fund, the builders you choose must be registered Green Deal suppliers. You can find out which companies are registered to invite to give you a quotation on the Green Deal ORB website.

If you prefer to stay with the Green Deal, you can ask a Green Deal provider to arrange for the work to be done. If they wil do this for you, you haven’t had to find a reliable builder, you don’t have to supervise the work, and you get the benefit of the Green Deal providers’ guarantees of quality, and insurance against things going wrong. This is true even if you only want to do some of the things in the assessment. And it’s true whether or not you borrow money from the Green Deal loan.

If you need to borrow money to pay for the improvements – whether you are organising them yourself or going through a Green Deal provider – you can use the Green Deal assessment to show your mortgage company, bank or other lender how much you need to borrow, and demonstrate that you can pay it back.

And finally, if you want to, you can get a Green Deal loan at a fairly high rate of interest to cover the cost of the assessment and the improvements. But you don’t have to! You can drop out at any stage, and your only expense is the original assessment.

Does it make financial sense to take out a Green Deal loan?

Not if you have the money in the bank or can borrow more cheaply elsewhere. Few of the people who need to borrow to make their homes greener will need to use a Green Deal loan. Most will borrow more cheaply from a mortgage or the bank of Mum, with a lower rate of interest, a shorter-term, and lower, or no, penalties for early repayment.

The Green Deal finance company says that the APR of a Green Deal loan is lower than the APR of a long-term bank loan once you add in annual fees, risk of changes in the interest rate, etc

Why was WinACC publicising the Green Deal?

The Green Deal should be much more than the Green Deal loan. WinACC's aim is to use less fossil fuel energy in the home. The Green Deal – not the Green Deal loan – means that with no commitment, you can get an assessment of energy use in your home which includes not only the building – which is covered by the Energy Performance Certificate – but also how you live in it.

WinACC had spent two years trying to set up something like this. When Green Deal was launched in January 2013, we were optimistic. We looked forward to a national framework, a national scheme for training and accrediting the assessors, and sound, professional advice available for a small fee to help people know what they could do to make their homes more energy efficient.

The reality has turned out worse than we hoped. The reports are unclear, and they are little use to anyone who has some previous understanding of what they need done.

How do I find a reliable builder or supplier?

WinACC can't recommend companies because we can't work out how to do it without risking getting sued. Here are our suugestions about how to find a reiiable company.

How are the Green Deal assessors qualified? Are they just trying to sell their products?

Each assessor is trained as a Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA) by undertaking training with an accreditation organisation such as BRE or Stroma, to produce Energy Performance Certificates. They must then undertake Green Deal accreditation (with the same kind of organisation) in order to carry out occupancy questionnaires (about your energy usage at home), and to fully understand the Green Deal scheme.

Any organisation which is a Green Deal assessor organisation, installer, or provider (finance) must be evaluated, their financial processors reviewed, and have the relevant safety accreditations (e.g. Gas Safe for boilers, MCS for renewables).

Green Deal Winchester, managed by WinACC, was using a Green Deal Assessment Organisation company called Evolve, based near Southamption and a Green Deal provider called YES Energy Solutions, which is a non-commercial organisation.

Since then, a new non-commercial scheme, Solent Green Deal, has got going and can provide both assessors and Green Deal finance, and WinACC will usually refer people to them.

Any suppliers we use are not specifically recommended, nor are our lists of suppliers exhaustive – there may be other local suppliers, but we are simply passing on what we know!

What about the interest rate for Green Deal finance?

DECC are quoting a maximum interest rate of 6.92%.

Is that a bit high?

Compared to mortgage interest rates for home-owners, yes.

Compared to short-term personal loans on the high street, this is a competitive rate.

Your assessor should be able to discuss the finance options available and confirm the interest rate if you are interested in taking Green Deal finance.

What incentives are there for landlords or tenants to install energy efficiency measures in their rental properties?

A law is being introduced in 2018 that F or G rated houses will not be lettable, forcing landlords to make energy efficient improvements to their properties.

A potential 'pro' of the Green Deal is that tenants can take the initiative to improve their home, with permission of the landlord, without the landlord having to pay: through Green Deal finance, the payment for improvements is added to the electricity bill, meaning the tenant pays for the benefits for as long as they live there, but with no financial responsibility once they move.

Loft full of stuff?

If your loft is full of possessions, it may need to be emptied before loft insulation can be installed. If you are unable to do this yourself, some insulation installers can – ask them to quote.