A couple of weeks ago the government officially launched its Green Deal – the scheme whereby we’re able to borrow money in order to make our homes more energy efficient.
The way that it works is that we householders pay an assessor to visit our homes and the assessor will make various ‘green’ suggestions: double-glazing, draughtproofing, a new front door, a new boiler, solar panels, domestic wind turbines or whatever.
They will also estimate the cost of the work and work out how much you will save on your gas or electricity bills.
Then, armed with this information, we householders will then contact a provider who will arrange a government loan for the work to be done and, most importantly, actually do the work. The provider will also work out how long it will take to pay off the money if you continue paying gas and electricity at the same rate. (ie. the savings that will be generated by the home improvements will be used to pay it off.)
So in theory we won’t really notice the cost of the loan – because we will pay for it through our existing gas and electricity bills, which will remain the same.
If it sounds complicated, that’s because it is. Too complicated in my view.
It is particularly bewildering when you also have to choose from a variety of different assessors and providers who are all offering different deals.
For a list of assessors which serve Wye, please type in your postcode to this form.
You will find that costs range from £89 including VAT (refundable if you have the work done) to £180 including VAT (not sure if this is refundable).
I would recommend looking at the form provided by DWA Surveyors (click on Assess my Home) to see if it’s worth going ahead, and then trying a company called Veridian (0844-8111242) who are the ones that charge £89.
The providers (also available through this form) are even less clear as to the deal that they’re offering – saying that it’s dependent on the work that you’re having done. The ones I rang gave me different rates of interest on the loan varying from 5% to 9%.
At that stage it’s probably important to shop around. I’d be reluctant to promote one company over the others.
One thing to bear in mind is that it might be worth applying for a Green Deal even if you pay off the money immediately – as the government is also offering various cash incentives for work done through the Green Deal. (Though I’ve just been told to be careful of any penalties associated with paying off the loan early.)
For a warts and all, impartial explanation, please click here.