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If you are looking to save money on your energy bills as well as making your home much warmer in the winter months, then the Green Deal could be an ideal solution. However it isn’t as straightforward as you may think, so read on for more information about the Green Deal and whether it is right for you.

As many people are reluctant to pay upfront for something that may take many years to save them money, the government has created the Green Deal to enable homeowners to improve their homes whilst using less energy without the huge upfront costs often required. This involves a loan of up to £10,000 which is offered to help you make improvements to your home such as installing a new boiler, adding loft insulation or even solar energy, and the repayments will never be more than the savings you make, meaning you will always be better off.

However, as great as this offer may seem, the interest on the loan is higher than many ordinary bank loans which has created quite a lot of controversy over whether this scheme is helpful for homeowners or not. Despite the high interest rates, you can still benefit from the scheme and it is also helpful for people who may struggle to secure a loan from their bank.

Firstly you will need to have a Green Deal assessment done on your home, which can give a detailed outlined regarding the current energy use of your home, ways you can save money and recommendations for improvements. The report costs up to £150, but is useful even if you choose not to enter into the scheme and accept a loan through the Green Deal. You could use this report to fund your own improvements, which could still save you money without the higher interest rates.

If you decide to go ahead with the Green Deal, you will need to arrange the finance and sign a contract between you and the provider. Look out for providers who offer to refund the assessment costs too, as this could save you a little money if you choose to go ahead. You will then need to get in touch with an installer who will carry out the improvements, which will be paid for by the provider. They will also make arrangements with your energy supplier to reflect the new improvements as well as arrange the repayments as they will automatically come out of your bill. And the good news is, if you sell your home, the loan is attached to the property, not to you personally.

It is important to note that this could affect the sale of your home if you came to put your property on the market though, as it could put off potential buyers. You could consider other ways to fund the improvements such as re-mortgaging but if you move this will be your responsibility to repay, so you need to work out what the best option is for you.

by Cormac Henderson

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