The Green Deal explained Green Deal FAQs

Green-question-mark

The Green Deal is a relatively complex scheme that requires a significant amount of initial research before you should consider applying. On this page you will find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions relating to the Green Deal, Green Deal finance, the assessment process and what effects it might have on your property.

News Update: on 24 July 2014 it was announced that the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund has been closed. A surge of applications has meant that the £120m fund has already been claimed. Find out more here.

Green Deal jargon buster

Code of practice

Document setting out the criteria that advisers, installers, providers and products and systems must adhere to in order to be allowed to operate under the Green Deal.  

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

This gives information on how to make your home more energy efficient and reduce your energy costs. All homes bought, sold or rented require an EPC, and you get an EPC - along with an Occupancy Assessment - when you have a Green Deal Assessment. For more information, see our EPC explained guide

Golden Rule

The Golden Rule underpins how big your Green Deal finance repayments will be. It says you should not have to pay back any more than the savings you'll make on your energy bill as a result of the energy-saving home improvements you've had installed. 

In most cases, repayment levels will be based on energy bills for the property or the typical energy bills of a similar property. The Green Deal is designed to try to save the customer at least as much money as they will have to repay. However, the actual level of savings will depend on how much energy is used (eg to heat your home) and the future cost of energy.  

Green Deal Advice Report

This is produced by a Green Deal adviser after a Green Deal Assessment. It consists of an EPC and occupancy assessment. 

Green Deal Assessment

An assessment of the property to determine the correct measures that can be installed to improve the energy and thermal performance of the building and ensure eligibility for Green Deal finance. An assessment is carried out by an authorised Green Deal adviser. 

Improver

The occupier or owner of a property who makes the arrangement for energy-efficiency improvements to be made to the property.  

Occupancy Assessment

The second part of the Green Deal assessment. The Occupancy Assessment considers the energy use of the household and the impact this is likely to have on the standard energy savings predicted by the EPC. It also contains a tailored package of measures, based on householders' preferences and behaviour to help households reduce their energy use at no cost.

Product

This is the actual product installed under the Green Deal - for example a new boiler or insulation

What is a Green Deal assessor?

A Green Deal assessor (either a sole trader or an organisation) is authorised to offer Green Deal Assessments to consumers. 

What is a Green Deal adviser?

Green Deal advisers work for Green Deal assessors. It is the adviser who will come to your house to carry out an assessment, and then produce a Green Deal Assessment Report detailing which energy saving improvements could be introduced to your property to make it more energy efficient. A Green Deal adviser must hold a qualification that meets the standard required by the relevant National Occupational Standards and syllabus and be a registered member of a certification body.

What is a Green Deal provider?

A Green Deal provider will be able to arrange for your Green Deal measures to be installed and will help provide you with the finance (ie the loan) to cover installation. It will be your point of contact for customer service enquiries after the Green Deal is complete.

What is a Green Deal plan?

This is the contract that sits between the Green Deal Provider, the improver (you) and the bill payer (if different at the property). It sets out the financial terms of the agreement, such as how much you'll pay and over what period 

What is a Green Deal installer?

A Green Deal installer is certified to install energy efficient improvements that are eligible for Green Deal finance.

How does a Green Deal Assessment work?

Visit our page on getting a Green Deal Assessment to find out how the assessment works, and to download our handy checklist explaining what to do before, during and after your assessment.

How can I tell if a Green Deal assessor is accredited? 

Check that the assessor is authorised with the Green Deal Quality Mark. Authorised Green Deal assessors are listed on the Green Deal Oversight and Registration Body website.

Green Deal Approved

Check the assessor and installer are accredited with the Green Deal Quality Mark

What is a Green Deal loan?

A Green Deal loan is taken out with a Green Deal provider to help cover the initial costs of installing any recommended energy efficient measures. Find out more on our page on Green Deal Finance - paying for the Green Deal.

How do Green Deal loans work?

Green Deal loans are attached to the electricity supply of your property. Repayments will be made through your energy bills until you have paid off the cost of installing your energy efficient measures. Visit our page on Green Deal Finance - paying for the Green Deal to find out the details.

How else can I pay for the Green Deal?

There are several other alternatives to taking out a Green Deal loan, such as increasing your mortgage, taking out an unsecured loan, paying on a 0% interest credit card or using your own savings. We outline the advantages and disadvantages of each at Green Deal Finance - paying for the Green Deal.

What is the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund incentive scheme?

The Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) is the new incentive scheme that was launched in June 2014, offering consumers up to £5,600 cash back for installing certain energy-efficient measures. Our page on Green Deal Finance - paying for the Green Deal has all the details. 

What happened to the old Green Deal cashback scheme?

The old Green Deal cashback scheme stopped taking applications on 30 June 2014. It has now been replaced with the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund.

What other funding is available?

You may be eligible to further savings through the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) scheme. Visit our page on ECO to find out more.

Is the Green Deal good value for money?

As with any financial product, whether the Green Deal is a good deal will depend upon your personal and financial circumstances. Green Deal plans may have different interest rates and different terms and conditions, so read the terms carefully and consider all the implications when signing up to this long-term financial commitment.

You could, for example, be better off paying for your energy-efficiency improvements using a 0%-on-purchases credit card and repaying it over the term of your credit card deal. You may also want to consider increasing your mortgage to pay for home improvements - although this will increase your monthly mortgage repayments, you may be borrowing at a lower rate than a Green Deal loan. 

For more details on the financial side of the Green Deal, go straight to our guide on Green Deal Finance - paying for the Green Deal.

What happens if I stop repaying my Green Deal? 

Energy efficiency graph

Compare different ways to finance your energy-saving home improvements to make sure you get the best deal

Your Green Deal charge is collected through your electricity bills, so if you stop making your Green Deal payments then you are at risk of having your electricity disconnected.

If you are struggling to pay for your Green Deal or are finding that the savings to your electricity bill are not as high as you expected, contact your Green Deal provider as soon as possible.

What measures are included in the Green Deal?

There are many energy efficient measures that can be part of the Green Deal. For more information, see Green Deal products and measures.

Is work done under the Green Deal guaranteed? 

Yes. Government regulations mean that measures carried out under your Green Deal are guaranteed for a minimum of five years. If your house is damaged as a result of any Green Deal works - for example, if installing a new boiler damages your existing plumbing - then this is guaranteed for a minimum of 10 years.

What happens if I sell my home?

The Green Deal is attached to your property's electricity supply and not to you as an individual, so if you sell your home then your Green Deal arrangement will transfer over to the new owner.

The existence of the Green Deal must be disclosed to the buyer. If the buyer of your home does not feel comfortable taking over the Green Deal loan, they might want to renegotiate the terms of sale or you could consider repaying the Green Deal off early as part of your conveyance. However, we haven't yet come across any cases of buyers being put off - if this does happen to you, contact us at which@which.co.uk

As a result of Which? campaigning, the Green Deal Finance Company has recently announced that it has scrapped any early repayment charges, meaning that you won't be penalised if you do need to pay off the rest of your Green Deal loan before selling to get the best price for your property.

I’ve just moved in to a house with a Green Deal attached to it - what does it mean?

The person who pays the electricity bill pays the money back - so if you’re a tenant in a rented property, you’ll be paying back the costs, not the landlord. This is because the tenant can expect to benefit from lower energy costs.

If you move into a property with a Green Deal, the landlord or seller must show you a copy of the Energy Performance Certificate - this will explain what improvements have been made and how much you’ll need to repay.

Hands-house

Green Deal loan repayments are the responsibility of the bill payer

Can I still switch energy suppliers if I have a Green Deal?

In most cases you can still switch energy suppliers if you have taken out a Green Deal, as all of the larger providers (British Gas, EDF, Eon, Npower, Scottish Power and SSE) are currently part of the scheme. However there are a handful of small energy suppliers that you will not be able to switch to if you take out a Green Deal, as they are not part of the Green Deal scheme.  

Will the Green Deal affect house prices?

Technically, the Green Deal is a charge attached to the electricity meter of your home, not to you as an individual. So if you move, the Green Deal stays with the property.

It is not known how the Green Deal will affect the property market, but there is a concern that some prospective buyers may not be attracted to a property with a substantial Green Deal charge attached to it. You may choose to pay off the rest of your Green Deal loan before trying to sell your home, to get the best market price for your property.

What if I have a complaint about my Green Deal or Green Deal provider? 

First, get in touch with your Green Deal provider. If you are unhappy with how your complaint has been dealt with by your Green Deal provider, you can contact the Green Deal Ombudsman.

What if I live in Scotland?

The Green Deal scheme is running in England and Wales - there is a separate Green Deal scheme in Scotland. Call Home Energy Scotland on 0808 808 2282 to find out more, or use its online callback form and it will arrange to call you back.

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