The Green Deal Home Improvement Fund is now closed and Green Deal financing is no longer available but grants are still available through the ECO. The Cambridgeshire Solid Wall Insulation fund is open until the end of June 2016.
The Green Deal is a national government scheme to help you make energy saving improvements to your house such as installing insulation or a more efficient heating system or renewable energy systems. There are several parts to the Green Deal.
A Green Deal Assessment gives you two documents:
Green deal providers and installers are accredited professionals who will further advise you and can deliver the recommended Green Deal measures. Green Deal installations should come with excellent insurance backed guarantees - though we advise you to check with your installer to be sure. For example cavity wall or solid wall insulation should be guaranteed for 25 years against failure or consequential damage - so if problems arise such as condensation in your brickwork this will be covered by the guarantee.
The Green Deal Loan scheme can help you finance the Green Deal measures without any upfront cost. You pay for the work through a loan which is charged to your electricity supply. The term of the loan is up to 25 years depending on the work you have done. If you sell your house the new owner will pick up the payments.
Before you can have anything done you must have advice from an accredited energy advisor. They will give you a (new, improved) energy performance certificate which makes recommendations as to what you could do and what the savings would be. A Green Deal Assessment also includes an occupancy assessment which takes into account your individual circumstances such as how much time you spend at home and if there are any areas you don't need to heat. The possible works include
Grants are available through the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) and, currently, the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund. Also, locally we have the Cambridgeshire Solid Wall Insulation Fund, funded through the Green Deal Communities Fund. Some of these grants are for everyone and some only for people on benefits.
The ECO has been scaled back since it was first introduced see The Future of the Energy Companies Obligation. However, it is still going, and there were nearly 40,000 measures installed through the ECO in May 2014, of which three quarters were for people on benefits or living in certain areas.
Normally your grants will be arranged through a Green Deal Provider and they will be able to determine if you qualify or not.
One part of the ECO, the Affordable Warmth Obligation is for people on benefits. (This grant is also called the Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation HHCRO). Most of these grants seem to be given for new boilers or heating controls, cavity wall insulation or loft insulation.
Another part of the ECO, called the Carbon Saving Community Obligation, is for people living in designated low income areas but there aren't any in Cambridge.
These grant should be available through any Green Deal Provider.
You can also get help with solid wall insulation through the grants described below.
Whether or not you are on benefits you can still qualify for some grants. The situation is very complex and the information below is a bit of a simplification.
(Also called the Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation CERO).
This grant is for solid wall insulation or for insulating cavity walls that are 'hard to treat'. However it is proving difficult to get funding for solid wall insulation. As of May 2014 were 250,000 hard to treat cavities insulated and only 50,000 solid walls done.
This grant should be available through any Green Deal Provider.
The ECO has been going since the Green Deal began but because of the impact on our electricity bills it has been unpopular. Therefore, DECC have reduced the targets for the this part (saving £30/35 on average in 2014). Also, lofts and ordinary cavity walls will be included which are cheaper carbon savings, which means it will be even harder to get grants for solid wall insulation. This change will come into force in the 3rd quarter of 2014.
Cambridgeshire has funding from DECC specifically for private sector rented housing so if you are a landlord you could use this. You can get up to £1000 for a single measure or £2000 for cavity wall insulation or loft insulation plus one other measure recommended on a Green Deal assessment (maximum 75% of the total cost). You can also get an additional £500 if you upgrade the property from F or G to at least D rating. Also the tenant will receive £500 for solid wall insulation or £100 for other measures, as compensation for the disruption.
DECC announced that the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund has been closed as of July 24th 2014
If you have solid walls then you main options are the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund and the Cambridgeshire Solid Wall Insulation Fund. Both funds apply to both owner occupiers and landlords. The table below compares them. Interestingly they can be combined - so you can have solid wall insulation funded by Cambridgeshire and Green Deal Home Improvement Funding for other measures.
|Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (national)||Cambridgeshire Solid Wall Insulation Fund|
|Solid wall insulation (up to 75% or £4000) and/or £1000 for any two out of the following 12 measures:
The fund was up to £6000 initially but changes were announced effective 25th July reducing this to £4000 and also removing flue gas heat recovery from the list of measures.
|Solid wall insulation only, up to £6000. However you will be expected to pay an 'affordable contribution' which is based on what you could get from a Green Deal loan - where the payments are no more than your expected savings.|
|Cannot be combined with other Green Deal grants schemes, though it can be used with a Green Deal loan||Can be combined with Green Deal ECO funding (see below) or other grant schemes. Your Green Deal Provider will arrange this for you.|
|Need a Green Deal Assessment or an EPC - but up to £100 will be refunded if you get a full assessment||Must have a Green Deal Assessment, but this costs only £29 from Action on Energy (for properties with solid walls) and will be fully refunded if any measures are installed|
|Works can be done by any Green Deal Installer||Works can only be done through a provider registered with Cambridge City Council - see their web page for a list|
|The grant is paid direct to you after you have a certificate showing completion of the work and an invoice. However, some installers require payment in advance, so you would have to find the money first and then get it paid back.||The grant is paid direct to the installer and you will only be invoiced for the balance.|
|This grant is available until June 2015. The initial rates were guaranteed only for the first £50 million in payout and they have now been revised downwards.||Funding is limited to £5.7 million in Cambridgeshire, on a first come first served basis|
|For more information go to https://www.gov.uk/green-deal-energy-saving-measures/overview||For more information go to https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/green-deal-communities|
Anyone can get a Green Deal Finance loan but your project must satisfy the golden rule which is that your repayments will be less than the expected savings on your bills. Overall your energy bills should be lower than they would have been without the Green Deal, assuming your other circumstances stay the same. However, your bills will still increase when energy prices rise for the energy you are still using. If the cost of the work is too high to satisfy the golden rule then you could be eligible for a grant to make up the difference.
A Green Deal Finance loan is different from an ordinary loan because it is tied to your house rather than you and it is paid through your electricity bill. It has a fixed charge rather than a variable interest rate. You will find information about the interest rates here. Green Deal Finance Loans are arranged with the Green Deal Finance Company through your Green Deal Provider.
This loan is expensive compared to a mortgage because it is an unsecured personal loan. You may be able to get cheaper finance from your bank or mortgage company. You can still use the Green Deal without taking up the loan. You can also combine a Green Deal Finance loan with grant funding from the ECO or other grant schemes.
The first thing is to get your Green Deal Assessment (or at least an EPC, if you intend to use the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund). In Cambridgeshire, the Action on Energy project is a partnership between local councils offering comprehensive advice and access to the Green Deal and ECO funding. They selected Climate Energy to be their Green Deal provider. They have promised to work with local installers where possible to benefit the local economy.
The horse's mouth is the DECC website.They have some quick guides for different situations: owners, tenants, landlords and so on. There is information about the Green Deal Improvement fund here. There is also very good information on www.moneysavingexpert.com.