Green deal grants for Swansea homes; grant finance for energy efficiency installations, loft insulation and cavity wall insulation, help and advice...
The new Green Deal Grant house insulation funding system, coming October 2012
If your happy Welsh home is not a new-build, i.e. not built in the past twenty or thirty years, then you may be liviing in a house from the Second World War, or even earlier. Such properties are solid, but are not very energy efficient (they're damn cold). If you live in such an older property, then you may be entitled to the new "Green Deal Grants", but that grant is not a handout as many people believe, that grant is a type of loan, the repayment being legally added to your house as an attachment, and your electricity bill will be increased to start collecting (month by month) the cost of the insulation work undertaken. When you sell your house or flat, in years to come, you or your children will have to repay the cost of the energy efficiency grant, less any balance already paid.
The benefit of the government's new funding scheme (if there is one) is that you would pay little now, and for the next decade you would hope to save money by benefiting from the energy savings, but the cost savings of a lower electricity bill will be offset by a repayment amount being added back onto your electricity bill. That bill should (hopefully) fall with the savings, and then rise again with repayments for the work done.
The new scheme's "Golden Rule" principal
This rule is more of a "hope" than a principal, that the up-front cost of the insulation work to be carried out should be recovered at least by the energy savings witnessed across many years. Naturally, you will have to live at the property for at least 6 years or more to balance the savings against the cost of the work carried out on your home.
"The Energy Act 2011 includes provisions for the new 'Green Deal', which intends to reduce carbon emissions cost effectively by revolutionising the energy efficiency of British properties. The new innovative Green Deal financial mechanism eliminates the need to pay upfront for energy efficiency measures and instead provides reassurances that the cost of the measures should be covered by savings on the electricity bill."
Green Deal Grant funding for businesses
The new Green Deal Grants funding scheme is not just for private homeowners, it extends to businesses as well. There are many small businesses that work out of large and old housing stock, such doctors, dentists, solicitors, accountants, all working out of premises that were once domestic residences.
You will need to have a site survey made as with a domestic property, and the "Golden Rule" would still be applied, in that the cost of the planned improvements undertaken should not exceed the expected savings gained over many years.
In a somewhat controversial move, that will probably see many problems (and some legal action), a tenant business may gain the Green Deal without permission from the landlord, despite the fact that the tenant business would have signed a lease agreeing no major building works without the consent of the landlord. The two fly in the face of each other. The landlord, however, must seek the tenant's permission for planned works for commence.
Accredited sellers and installers - check their ID carefully!
Both private and business applicants for the new Green Deal Grants funding scheme will have to use accredited sellers and installers, you cannot have the insulation work done and then apply for the funding afterwards. Beware of dodgy builders making claims, and of assessors that are not properly qualified. If you have insulation work done that is not agreed and properly licensed then you will have to pay for it as normal.
When you do apply for a Green Deal Grants funding package, you are not applying directly to the UK Government or dealing with the Government, you are dealing with middle men as sellers of the Green Deal. Such people are (hopefully) accredited and licensed by the Government.
The long term benefits of insulation
If you live in an old property, one that gets a bit cold during the Welsh winter, and you plan on staying there for the next 20 years or so - finally leaving the property to your kids (or adopted kids, or the local cat sanctuary), then you may make back several times the value of the work done to make the property energy efficient. The longer you stay, the greater the savings, it's as simple as that.
Summary of the new grants scheme
If your home is a bit old and cold, and costs a bleeding fortune to heat, then you may want to spend money on energy efficiency insulation. The upfront cost of that work might put you off, and you may not be able to afford it right now. The Green Deal allows the work to be done for no upfront payment, but an increased or level electricity bill for many years, and finally when you sell the property any remaining balance is paid off.
The benefit to you will be that you will be warmer of a chilly Welsh winter's night, not that you'll have a great deal more money in your pocket each week, but the hope is that you will also save some money from the energy efficiency. And, collectively, we all benefit from less carbon emissions - which is a good thing.
Green Deal Grants house site surveys
In order to qualify for the new Green Deal Grants scheme, you will first need to have a site survey done of your particular home or business, and you will need 3 separate quotes for the proposed insulation work to be done. Those quotes will need to be sent to the seller of the Green Deal, who is not the person doing the building work - they are separate.
An accredited Green Deal advisor is qualified (don't forget those dodgy builders) to carry out the work, and may work for a Green Deal Supplier such as an energy company. That advisor will inspect your property and make an assessment, giving you a written assessment, and they will highlight your various options under the Green Deal.
If you have already had cavity wall insulation put in (squeezed in like), and your loft is already properly insulated, there may be little left under the Green Deal that you can benefit from, except solar PV and solar thermal systems (some sunshine may be required). You will need to ask your advisor for details of qualification.
Note. If your house is a modern-build home, and already has an energy efficiency rating applied, then there will be little under the grants scheme that applies to you.
Green Deal Grants funding aspects
Many people who own their own property, and even some tenants, as well as businesses, will be able to receive energy efficiency improvements under the new scheme, all enjoying no upfront costs - just lengthy repayments.
The value of the insulation work to be done will be added to the property's energy bills, as well as an attachment against the property for when it is sold. It is hoped that electricity bills will not rise much after the work is done, and that the cost of the work will be spread over many years. It is hoped, by the government, that each recipient of the deal will be better off.
Typical loft and cavity wall insulation work might cost from £ 7,500 - £9,500, so you can imagine that will take a long time to pay off as a small amount added to your electric bill. The householder should be much warmer, but will see the energy savings paid for as part of a higher electricity bill.
Background to the Green Deal Grants funding system
The Energy Act 2011 includes provisions for the government's new 'Green Deal', which aims to reduce carbon emissions cost effectively by revolutionising the energy efficiency of British properties, by retrofitting older properties with cavity wall insulation, loft insulation as well solar PV or solar thermal systems.
The Green Deal financial mechanism aims to eliminate the need to pay upfront capital costs for energy efficiency measures and instead provides the opportunity for the cost of the work done to be covered by savings on the energy bill.
Note. Those aimed-for savings will be negated in part by an increase in energy bills to cover the cost of the work. The Green Deal is not a freebie, you will have to pay the cost of the building work back.
"ECO" - what does it mean?
A new Energy Company Obligation will operate hand in hand with the Green Deal, allowing supplier subsidy and Green Deal Finance to come together into one seamless offer to the end consumer.
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