14 February 2014 by

Green Deal or No Green Deal

The Green Deal is the Government’s flagship scheme to help improve the energy efficiency of our homes. Launched in January 2003, much has been publicised in the press recently about how the Green Deal is failing.  The opposition party is now hot on the Government’s heels to criticise the scheme’s downfall and have pledged to replace it if they win the next election.

It has recently been reported that the number of people applying for assessments under the Green Deal has continued to fall, however, the number of households receiving ‘cash back’ under the Green Deal is increasing, with £2.5million claimed under the scheme.

So what is the Green Deal and can you still benefit from it: or is all lost?

The idea of the Green Deal is that an approved installer will assess your home for eligibility. An assessment of the characteristics and energy consumption of your home is made and a report is produced recommending energy saving measures that are suitable. The eligible measures include cavity wall insulation, replacement of secondary glazing, lighting systems and hot water controls such as timers and temperature controls. If approved, a quotation for the capital cost of the work will be provided. The costs of improvements are then met under the scheme, leaving you to pay this off over time at a fixed interest rate through your energy bills. The main advantage is that the costs involved in making the energy improvements will be less than the future savings made on your energy bills.

A win win for all then? Well not quite, as there can be potential problems when it comes to selling or buying a property that is subject to a Green Deal agreement. Firstly, there is a duty on the owner of the property, or the estate agent acting in the sale, to disclose the existence of the Green Deal prior to the first viewing. Secondly, unless you agree to pay off the outstanding debt before the sale goes through, the buyer will be left to make the remaining payments. If the seller fails to notify the buyer of the Green Deal, the seller may be left to foot the bill. Thirdly, anybody entering into a Green Deal will need to ensure all the necessary Planning and Building Regulations consents have been obtained before any work is undertaken. It is not the duty of the installer to obtain the local authority consents.

If you buy a property that has been subject to a Green Deal your solicitor will need to make sure all appropriate consents have been obtained, that the work is guaranteed and that the repayment arrangements are satisfactory.

If you do not want a Green Deal you could benefit from cash back instead. The cash back scheme enables householders to claim cash back from the Government for energy saving improvements made to their homes, such as insulation and upgrading doors, windows and boilers. The more you do, the more you get and a full list of the cash back options is available on the website: An assessment of your home is required and a quote should be obtained from a provider registered with the cash back scheme. You can then apply for and obtain a voucher to be spent on the works within a specified period.

So, if you would like to reduce those ever increasing heating bills and to make your home more energy efficient, there is still time to benefit from the Green Deal before all is lost.

If you are selling or buying and property that is subject to a Green Deal arrangement and you have any questions or concerns, please contact one of our solicitors on 020 7288 4700.

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