The Green Deal explained Getting a Green Deal assessment
The government announced the closure of the Green Deal in July 2015. But what if you've already taken some steps towards getting a Green Deal?
Read on to find out about what happens if you've already had a Green Deal assessment and whether the work is covered by warranties.
You can also learn more about why the Green Deal closed.
If you've had a Green Deal assessment
If you wanted to take out a Green Deal loan with a Green Deal provider, you needed to have had a Green Deal assessment. The assessment would have aimed to show you the energy efficiency of your home and also its energy consumption.
Have you already had a Green Deal plan or do you have one in progress? Good news - you will not be affected by the closure. And if you already have Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) vouchers, then you can still use them.
You will not be eligible for a refund if you have just had a Green Deal assessment carried out but have not yet actually taken up a Green Deal. The government said this was because assessments can still help guide what energy-efficiency measures may be useful for your home. The cost of assessments was about £100-£150.
If you have paid for a Green Deal assessment but not yet had it carried out, you should contact your assessor to see if you can get a refund.
The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) can help you if you're looking for financial support to make energy-efficiency improvements to your home. This provides support to low-income and vulnerable households for energy-efficiency home improvements. Find out more about energy grants.
Are the measures installed protected by warranties?
Most Green Deal measures came with a minimum five-year warranty and an extended 10-year guarantee to cover any building damage sustained as a result of the measures being installed. For solid wall insulation and cavity wall insulation, Green Deal providers must have offered guarantees for both the improvements and consequential building damage for 25 years.
You can find more information on insulation, including how to install, how much they cost and save, and what to watch out for, in our expert guides on solid wall insulation and cavity wall insulation.
Should you have a problem with a product after the warranty has expired, this means you will still be paying for a non-functioning product and will have no protection. So, for example, if your boiler breaks down after the five-year warranty period has elapsed, you will still have to make Green Deal repayments on it (although these are limited to the boiler’s expected lifetime), as well as having to pay for repairs or a replacement boiler.
If you do need a new boiler, make sure you choose one that's reliable and won't let you down. To help you choose the best brand and boiler for your home, see our boiler reviews.
How would my property have been assessed?
The Green Deal adviser would have produced a Green Deal advice report made up of two documents:
- an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), which rates your home’s energy efficiency on an A to G rating scale
- an Occupancy Assessment, which assesses how you use energy in your home.
EPCs were used separately to the Green Deal, as they have to be produced when properties are sold or rented out. An EPC is a basic assessment of the fabric of your property; it assumes how many people live in the property and how they use their heating, so it does not take account of your actual usage or energy bills. The Occupancy Assessment is personalised to you and does assess your own energy use.
The EPC would have been used to decide the amount of Green Deal finance you could borrow. This meant there was a risk - particularly for low energy users - that the EPC could overstate how much energy you could save, meaning that your repayments could have been higher than the savings you made on your energy bills. In this case, the assessor would have been required to get a written acknowledgement from you, showing you were aware of this risk.
Were Green Deal assessors/advisers independent?
The advisor was required to carry out an ‘impartial’ assessment, but was not required to be independent of a company selling energy-saving measures (a Green Deal provider). The adviser must have told you if they were linked to other Green Deal organisations and whether they were on commission.
The adviser was only allowed to try to sell you products at the same time as doing your assessment if they had your express consent before they visited.
Green Deal advisers recommended improvements that are appropriate for your property. Their main requirement was to ensure that the measures they recommended met the ‘Golden Rule’ - this meant that repayments of the cost of installing the measures wouldn't be any greater than the energy savings made on your electricity bill (which, remember, did not guarantee savings).
It would have been possible for you to get more than one Green Deal assessment and quote, but you may have had to pay for each visit. So-called 'free' assessments may have depended on you taking out a Green Deal with a particular provider.
Could Green Deal providers sell other products, too?
Yes, there was nothing to stop Green Deal providers selling you all sorts of other home improvements such as furniture, a new kitchen or bathroom, or decorating and building services. They just needed to make the distinction clear to you.
Which? was concerned that in these cases consumers may have become confused as to what was being sold under the Green Deal, and what was not but was also being sold on credit.
If you are still interested in a new kitchen, find out more about the best and worst kitchen brands.
What consumer protections did the Green Deal offer?
The Green Deal was backed by government-approved standards and a code of practice giving additional consumer protections should something have gone wrong.
For example, there is a Green Deal Ombudsman to help deal with complaints, although your first port of call for any complaints should still be with the provider that you signed up with.