The Green Deal – What’s in it for me?

Set to commence in October 2012, “The Green Deal” is a proposed UK Government policy which has been designed with the sole purpose of improving energy efficiency of all buildings across the country. The aim of the Green Deal is clear – due to a target which the Climate Change Act of 2012 committed the UK to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050 relative to 1990 levels – a target that right now we are nowhere near to meeting.

Solar Panels

More than a quarter of the UK’s carbon is emitted from the homes across the country and as around 80% of these homes will still be around in 2050 it is imperative that the government look to improve their energy consumption and therefore improve their emissions.

This has led the government to act now before it is too late; and there statement of intent comes with the introduction of the Green Deal in 2012.

Using the Green Deal thee government intends to treat 14 million homes by 2020, with £7billion worth of investment and potentially 250,000 new jobs.

How does it work?

The first step of improving energy efficiency in buildings will see a selection of authorised Green Deal Advisors visiting properties across the UK, during which time the properties will undergo an initial Green Deal assessment. After the assessment we will see a Green Deal assessment report (GDAR) is created to document all the possible ways of making the home more energy efficient.

Within this assessment report advisors will shows ways in which you can improve the energy efficiency of your home through a shortlist of possible improvements.

Obviously improvements come at a cost, so the main benefit of the Green Deal is that if you choose to make these improvements to your home, you do not have to pay the money for the improvements up front. How you choose to improve your home will determine how much it will cost, but the basics of the system is that the initial costs are funded by the Green Deal, and homeowners then pay the money back through energy bills using just the money you will be saving by having a more energy efficient home.

A ‘Golden Rule’ system is in place to determine that any changes you could make will in fact save you on your bills in order to ensure you will both be able to afford to pay back the costs but also to see if you really benefit from the changes in the first place.

The idea of this is that once we have paid back the money through the bills we will not only have made our homes or business buildings more energy efficient but we will also cut the price of our bills meaning we are saving money and helping the environment long after you have paid off the changes.

Not only will the Green Deal allow individuals or businesses to make energy efficient improvements to their buildings with no upfront costs, it will also allow access to trusted, accredited suppliers of advice on how we can change the way think around the home to enable you to make savings.

The Green Deal assessment will offer solutions from the 26 different options available to make our homes more energy efficient – this includes simple things such as new boilers and tanks, right up to significant changes like solar panels or wind turbines.

The benefits of the Green Deal for the home owner

It is easy to say that many of us want to protect the environment and make a difference, but when it comes to large investments to do so; it’s not always easy to spend the money. So what benefits and advantages will you as a home owner have because of the Green Deal?

As mentioned earlier, the long term benefits are huge – in fact you should experience significant savings on your energy bills, especially as prices rise year on year for fossil fuels and home energy.
But one physical effect that we can endure throughout our homes is the fact that our homes will be also better insulated meaning we will be far warmer in the winter months along with cooler in the summer months.
The more energy efficient our homes become basically means the more money we save.

What’s in it for me?

The massive potential to save money

With lower energy consumption comes lower bills. Although initially any benefits in your bills will go towards paying off the improvement costs, but once this is paid off the savings are all yours to benefit from.

A warmer home all round

With more efficient use of heat and insulation in the home you will not only benefit from the heat staying around for longer, but also you will have to use the heating either less or on a lower temperature to feel the benefits.

Living a greener life

many people recycle in the home, take bottles to bottle banks, or even have an allotment to help them lead a greener existence, but when it comes to wholesale changes it can be far too costly for most people to invest in. With the Green Deal homeowners have the opportunity to make wholesale changes to their home and not have to pay for it all up front.

What improvements can be made?

I have briefly discussed the fact we can insulate our homes, but after the GDAR what other improvements can actually be made in and around the home to benefit the environment and our energy bills?
Well there are 5 categories in which we will see improvements be able to be made within these are:
Heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

Inside this category you see four main improvements that can be made to our homes, first of all condensing boilers. This action will make your boiler over 87% energy efficient over your traditional boiler. The way the boiler works in order to make it more efficient is the fact that it uses extracts heat that is otherwise wasted as flue gas.

Other air condition, heating and ventilation improvements we can make include heating controls, under floor heating and also heating recovery systems.

Building Fabrics

Building fabrics are something that helps us insulate our home to the best it possibly can be and also save us so much money, through rooms being warmer, meaning a lesser temperature on the heating system.
Building fabrics and improvements include, Flat roof insulation system, cavity wall insulation, loft insulation, external wall insulation, internal wall insulation and also draught proof floor insulation. All these changes can help to improve energy efficiency and also the warmth of the home.

Cavity and loft insulation has been popular in the UK when government incentives have been around in the past, with some local councils quoting that ¾ of people that took up the offer wouldn’t have done so without an incentive.


There are two improvements that we can make in our homes and buildings when it comes to lighting these are lighting controls and lighting fittings. They both offer ways of improving what light we use, and how efficiently we use it, meaning more money saving on the whole.

Water Heating

Water efficient taps and showers are one very useful improvement we can use in our homes and have funded by the Green Deal. The purpose of this appliance is that they do not waste as much water only keeps heated when needed. The other water heating appliance is the innovative hot water system.


Biomass boilers, solar panels and also ground and air source heat pumps make up the fifth section of ways in which we can make our home more energy efficient and are probably the most expensive however in the long run are probably the most likely to make you the most money also.

There are also incentives from energy suppliers to feed back some of the energy not used to a central station and therefore lower your bills more dramatically.

With these positives what is stopping us?

The biggest feedback the government received from homeowners was that they currently have to pay too much money for the installation of the environmentally friendly appliances. By this they mean that in the past certain incentives have been made for people to make improving their homes energy efficiency levels more attractive, but they still always involved some sort of outlay beforehand.

Another common objection is the inconvenience and disruption to the home. When it comes to insulating parts of the homes like the loft we may face problems such as having to move all of our stuff stored up there such as family memories.

Internal work within our home through the Green Deal will also mean we have to redecorate wherever the insulation is made, costing more money on top of what the government are charging for the improvements. These inconveniences seem to be one of the real reasons the Green Deal isn’t as much as a hit with home owners and the public as the government thought it would be.

With all this in mind, it will be Awareness and interest that is the biggest hurdle that the Green Deal will have to overcome. The government will have to spend a huge amount to introduce the system and to keep it in the public eye.

Incentives like this will only work if people see a benefit, so making these benefits stand out for the public to look into will be one of the biggest stumbling blocks of the scheme initially and if the uptake is slow they will have to look at introducing minimum standards in homes in order to force the changes through.

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