As part of the Governments policy to reduce our carbon emissions, they are soon to introduce the new Green Deal initiative which will allow home owners and tenants to make energy efficiency measure to their property with no upfront costs.
In essence, the Green Deal is a privately financed loan to undertake energy efficiency improvement measures and is repaid via payments collected through the dwellings electricity bill.
The Golden Rule states: “The key principle for assessing Green Deal finance is that the repayment attached to the electricity bill should not exceed the expected savings, and the length of the repayment period should not exceed the lifetime of the measures. “
Unlike personal loans, this loan remains with your property and will not follow you when you move. Therefore, home owners and tenants will benefit from the energy improvements and repay the loan through their utility bill only whilst they live at the property. New owners or tenants will then take over the loan (via their electricity bill) and also benefit from the energy improvements.
To see if your property qualifies for the Green Deal finance, you must have an EPC (dated after 1st April 2012) carried out on your property. This will calculate what energy improvements can be made and what your expected financial savings are likely to be.
From 1st April 2012 any home owner wishing to install Solar PV Panels to their property, and benefit from the higher feed in tariffs, will need to have a valid EPC demonstrating their property is rated at Band D or higher. Any properties lower than band D will need to install energy efficiency measures to bring their property up to or better than Band D or they will only qualify for the lower Feed in Tariffs.
For further information regarding the installation of Solar Panels, please talk to your preferred supplier or you can read the following statement from DECC - Click Here.
The Energy Performance Certificate will also advise you what steps to take to obtain the Green Deal finance and how to find Green Deal suppliers & installers.
Once you have made your energy improvements, another EPC will be required to ascertain that the measures have been made and the work can then be signed off.
It is worth noting that Energy Performance Certificates have now been with us since 2007 and are currently valid for 10 years from the date of certificate issue.
If you are thinking of selling or letting your property and already have an EPC, you can still use this certificate for the transaction.
However, if your EPC was produced before 1st April 2012 and you would like to benefit from the Green Deal finance, you will need a new EPC dated after 1st April 2012.
On a final note, you do not need to be selling or renting out your property to benefit from the Green Deal. You maybe a home owner who is staying in your home and would like to make it more energy efficient. This is a great idea and is exactly what the Government would like, but you will still need an EPC to find out if your home qualifies.
For more information regarding the Green Deal proposals, you can download the current Dept. of Energy & Climate Change PDF document by clicking here
The new EPC format will look something like the following picture.