FAQs about the Green Deal – the Government’s version

 In 2013, News

• How do I find out more about the Green Deal?
Information is available at www.gov.uk/greendeal or you can ask more detailed questions by calling the Energy Saving Advice Service helpline on 0300 123 1234.

You can find out who’s offering the Green Deal in your area by entering your postcode at www.gov.uk/greendeal or you can call the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234.

• If I have an assessment and get a quote, do I have to undertake the works?
No, the assessment gives a recommendation that is free from obligation. Once in possession of this, you are free to take advantage of as many or as few improvement measures as you wish. You can seek as many quotes as you want using a single assessment.

You can also get a quote within the Green Deal scheme, but have the improvement works done independently, although you would lose the additional protections that the Green Deal offers.

• What is the Golden Rule?
The Golden Rule limits the amount of Green Deal finance that you can borrow, including interest, to the estimated energy bill savings from the energy efficiency improvements. This principle aims to keep the energy bills at the property no higher than they would have been had the property been without a Green Deal – this is important to protect you and anyone else who may take on the Green Deal after you from higher energy bills, and to protect investors from a higher risk of default on the bill.

• What is the maximum amount of work I can have done?
Your Assessor will recommend any Green Deal improvements that are appropriate for your property. There are 45 individual measures covered by the Green Deal and you may undertake any combination of these so long as they are recommended by the assessment as suitable for your property.

The Golden Rule limits the amount of Green Deal finance to the estimated energy bill savings from the improvements in the property. So if the installation costs are likely to exceed the estimated savings, you will need to pay the remainder up front, or choose to install a different package of measures that allows the Golden Rule to be met.

If installation costs exceed £10,000 in total, a Green Deal Provider must ensure that before you enter the Green Deal Plan, you have received at least three quotes from different Green Deal Providers for installation of the proposed improvements. You have the right to choose not to do this.

• Is extra support available to help vulnerable people, or those living in homes which need more work than Green Deal finance alone will stretch to?
Yes. If you are in an older property which is particularly difficult or expensive to treat, or if you receive certain income-related benefits, you may qualify for extra financial assistance through the Energy Company Obligation (ECO). An Assessor will be able to advise you on this, or you can call the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234 for more details.

• What happens if my improvements are not up to scratch? Am I protected against poor work?
You should always look out for the the “Green Deal Approved” Quality Mark, which shows that the bearer is accredited. If you are unhappy with the work, you should talk to your Provider first.
If a complaint or enquiry about the Green Deal cannot be resolved by your Green Deal Provider, you may be able to complain to the Ombudsman, depending on the complaint. You can contact the Green Deal Ombudsman and Investigation Service on 0330 440 1624, or emailing enquiries@os-energy.org. Their website is www.ombudsman-services.org.

• How do I apply for cashback?
Full details about the cashback schemes in England and Wales and in Scotland, including how to apply, can be found at www.gov.uk/greendeal.

• What is the cashback amount based on? Does it depend on the type of work being carried out?
The cashback amount for each measure is based on the typical energy savings achieved by that measure. You will be able to get a higher cashback if you install more measures (and so achieve greater energy savings). This means you could claim over £1,000 cash back depending on the improvements you made.

• Am I eligible for cashback if I do the works but pay for them myself and not get Green Deal finance?
Yes. You can fund improvements through a Green Deal Plan, or pay in other ways (or a combination of both) and still get the Cashback but you must first get a Green Deal assessment, then use a Green Deal Provider to arrange for the installation to be carried out by an approved Green Deal installer.

• Is the cash back capped?

DECC expects that most people will be eligible for the full amount of cash back for each measure they install. However, if you are offered measures for free or very cheaply (which would most likely be if you are receiving another subsidy), cashback payments will be limited to 50% of your installation costs – or to put this another way, you cannot get a cashback worth more than half of the amount you are paying for the total cost of the improvements you are making.

For example, if you are paying £1000 for solid wall insulation because the full cost (which is likely to be much higher) has been subsidised, and not doing any other work at the same time, then you will receive £500 cashback instead of the full £650 available.

• What happens if I want to sell my house / move house?
All subsequent payments will be transferred to the new bill-payer, as they will become the beneficiary of the energy saving improvements. These will continue to be paid as part of their electricity bill.

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