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Go Green in 2013: A warmer home that’s cheaper to heat

Angel Kerr explains the ins and outs of the Green Deal in our guest blog for Zoopla.com

We all want to reduce the energy bills from our leaky homes, but few of us want to pay up front for making them more energy efficient. It’s either at the bottom of our list of things to do or we’re worried we’ll never see the return on investment. The government’s answer is the Green Deal: a flagship scheme to help homeowners make their homes warmer, with little upfront costs.

How does it work?

1. You can get a loan for up to £10,000 to make improvements

2. Possible projects include loft and cavity wall insulation, new boilers, draft-proofing, and solar energy.

3. The Golden Rule – Improvements can be funded by the savings on your energy bill which will cover the payments on the loan, so you should be quids in if you can find the right deal.

4. For people on low incomes or harder to treat properties there will be an ECO subsidy

5. You stop paying if you move – the loan is attached to the house. If you move it will be paid off through the new homeowner’s electricity bills.

6. Cash-back scheme – early adopters can get a maximum of £1,000 per household. The best value option has to be cavity wall insulation where you will get £250 back on work that costs around £500.

No money upfront, a warmer house that is cheaper to heat? What’s not to like?

High interest rates.

You will be charged 6.9% upwards on your Green Deal loan, plus other costs and depending on how long you take the loan out for. This means that it could cost more than if you paid for the work in other ways – with cash, a personal loan, or extending your mortgage. So shop around.

Interested? What do I need to do?

It’s early days, there are still a few unknowns and it is a little complicated. But if you’re motivated to do your bit, be warmer and save some cash then:

Step 1. Contact a Green Deal assessor to assess your home. Their report – costing £90 to £150 – tells you the most cost effective ways to improve the efficiency of your home.

Step 2. Get a Green Deal loan from one of 25 different approved Green Deal Providers including British Gas and Npower. Don’t forget to shop around and be clear about what you’re signing up for. Once agreed, you will repay your loan via your energy bill, which your Green Deal Provider will arrange with your energy supplier.

Step 3. You then need to find an installer on the government’s approved list to do the work

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