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Green Deal Assessments

Domestic Green Deal Assessments

Not only have we completed hundreds of Green Deal Assessment Reports, we were also one of the earliest (September 2012) qualified assessors via the Building Research Establishment (BRE).

Domestic Green Deal Approved Assessor

Please note we are an Independent Green Deal Advisor and as such do not receive any commissions from any company for these assessments and do not provide any other services outside of the Green Deal Advice Specifications.  We believe this is the only way to remain independent and impartial.  Please use caution if any company large or small offers you a free Green Deal Assessment Report (GDAR), I'm sure you don't need me to tell you 'nothing in life is free'.  If you have been approached by such companies find out:

  • Is it possible to take the completed GDAR to any Green Deal Provider for a quote?
  • Is the survey free even if the recommendations are not undertaken?

If the answers to any of the above are 'no’ and you are unsure of the potential consequences, please contact us.

What is the Green Deal?

The Green Deal is the government’s flagship policy for improving the energy efficiency of buildings in the UK. It aims to help the householder to improve the energy efficiency of their homes in order to make them more comfortable, save energy and reduce energy bills. Improvements will be repaid over time via the electricity bill. Repayments will be calculated on the basis that they will not exceed more than a typical household should save in their energy costs if they carry out the improvements. You will also require a Green Deal Assessment Report for the purposes of a Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

Green Deal for Homes

How does it work?

To improve the energy efficiency of your home, you can make energy-saving improvements to your home without having to pay all the costs for the measures up-front by using the Green Deal.  The scheme basically works in four steps:

  • Assessment: the property needs to be assessed by a Green Deal advisor to establish what energy efficiency improvements may be feasible and how much this would save on your energy bills.
  • After the assessment you can choose a Green Deal Provider (GDP) to carry out the work and discuss with them what can be done and how it will be financed.
  • You then enter into a Green Deal Plan which is a contract between you and the GDP stating what work will be done and how much it will cost.  The Provider will then arrange for a Green Deal Installer to do the work.
  • Once the work is done, the Green Deal will be paid off in instalments through your electricity bill.

The Green Deal Provider will calculate the repayments, including interest, which the household will need to make.

While the repayments should be no more than what a typical bill payer should save, the actual savings will depend on how much energy is used and the future costs of energy.  The interest rate, like all costs, may vary from Provider to Provider, so the consumer should shop around.  Once a plan is agreed, the repayments are fixed for the lifetime of the Deal.

The cost will be attached to the building’s electricity meter. The cost can then be paid back over time, with the repayments being lower than the estimated savings on bills, giving an opportunity to benefit from day one.

Households do not have to stick with their current electricity supplier; they can change to any major electricity supplier at any time after a Green Deal Plan.

If the household moves, the new occupier will benefit from the improvements, so they will take on the repayments.

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

To practice as a Domestic Green Deal Assessor one must also be Accredited as a Domestic Energy Assessor. This allows the production of an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). The EPC will calculate and show a “standardised occupancy” for the property. The first step is to collect the data required to produce the EPC. The data consists of measuring the whole property, recording insulation levels i.e. walls, roof void areas (don’t worry we will not be lifting up floor boards or drilling holes anywhere), heating and hot water systems etc. This will take approximately 30 minutes for a small flat but can take considerably longer for large / complex houses.

What if I already have an EPC?

A new Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) will be produced at no extra cost to you.  This is to ensure that it is accurate, up-to-date and enables a better understanding of your property during the survey.

Why is the EPC so important?

The recommendation which appears on the EPC will automatically be brought into the Green Deal Report which will then enable you to decide which of the recommendations/measures you would like to take up within the Green Deal Plan, if any.

What Recommendations will appear on the EPC?

This is a pre-set criteria built into the EPC software. Each recommendation will appear if they meet certain conditions (a selection of which is given below):

  • If current loft insulation is not greater than 150mm
  • If flat roof insulation is less than 100mm
  • Cavity wall insulation if previously not insulated
  • Solid wall insulation if previously not insulated
  • Draught proofing if current levels are less than 100%
  • Solar if none exists (not for flats or thatched roofs)
  • PV panels if currently less than 1kWp (not flats)
  • Double glazing if current levels are less than 80%

Since the survey is for a Green Deal Assessment we will also record further information such as cooker/s, fridge types and utility bills, which will naturally add to the assessment time.

What information will be required on the day?

Pictures will be taken of your property (both external on all sides and internally), heating & control systems and any relevant documents (such as planning or building control documents) which you may have ready for the visit.
Building Control documents are usually required (if available) for properties which have recently had extensions, loft conversions etc. Other documents which will also help include Planning documents, window replacement certificates, cavity wall insulation certificate etc. In other words any insulation or renewable energy such as PV, solar panel, CHP boilers etc.
The pictures are for the purposes of ‘auditing’ the assessor’s work by the Certification body. We can ‘blank out’ your personal details from energy bills, if you wish. If you are concerned about any of the pictures please ask to see them on the day of the assessment or discuss this with the assessor on arrival at your property.
As mentioned earlier we will also need to look through your energy bills. Please make sure that you have all the necessary energy bills (electric, gas, oil, or LPG etc) ready before the visit. We will need to see a minimum of the last 12 months of each fuel bill, invoice or receipt (i.e. if using coal, LPG, logs etc). If you genuinely do not have these bills (or they are estimates or incomplete 12 months’ bills) then the assessment can still go ahead, however the Green Deal Report will not be as accurate as it could be.
Once the physical survey is complete we will go through the required questions regarding the occupancy of the property in relation to how you live and when you use your heating system. All these details will then be processed and an Energy Performance Certificate (calculates ‘standardised occupancy’) and Green Deal Report (‘actual occupancy’) will be produced illustrating the potential improvements available for making your home more comfortable and energy efficient.

Green Deal Advice Report - Occupancy Assessment

Are there any other sources of funding?

Yes, some of the measures will be part or fully funded (depending on the measure/s) through the Energy Company Obligations (ECO). This is to ensure that the most vulnerable households receive the support they need. The government has introduced the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) scheme to make heating homes more affordable for low-income, vulnerable households and hard to treat properties e.g. solid wall insulation.

The funding for this programme comes from large energy suppliers.  It is delivered to customers by Green Deal Providers working together with the energy supplier.  There are three parts, which consist of:

Affordable Warmth Obligation

To provide to low-income and vulnerable households: funded heating and hot water saving measures, insulation, glazing and micro-generation technologies (except PV) Eligibility criteria applies (i.e. certain benefits). Social housing tenants are not eligible for ECO.

Carbon Saving Obligation

To provide funding to insulate solid-walled properties and those with ‘hard-to-treat’ cavity walls. This is not means-tested but will be used in conjunction with the Green Deal. This is because the cost for these measures is still relatively high, so they do not meet the Golden Rule (see below for further details) unless other measures are carried out too.

Carbon Saving Communities Obligation

To provide free insulation and glazing measures to people living in the bottom 15% of the UK's most deprived areas or those in low-income areas.  It is expected that this element of ECO will particularly benefit the social housing sector.

The completed Green Deal Report can then be taken to any Green Deal Provider for a quotation. 

We will guide you through the whole process.

 

How do I find out more about the Green Deal?

Information is available at www.gov.uk/greendeal or you can ask more detailed questions by calling the Energy Saving Advice Service helpline on 0300 123 1234.

Can the Green Deal be used with Feed-In Tariffs or the Renewable Heat Incentive?

Green Deal packages can include energy efficiency, renewable heat and energy generation products together. However, you will not be able to use expected income from the Feed-in Tariff, for example, to help you meet the Golden Rule. Although you will still receive the payments after the installation as long as a 'D' rating has been reached.

The same applies for Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) payments which will be conditional on making 'Green Deal compliant' thermal efficiency improvements to the property, so that renewable heat is not wasted. Minimum loft (250mm) and cavity wall insulation (if applicable to your property) is required before any tariff is paid.

If I have an assessment and get a quote, do I have to undertake the works?

No.  The assessment gives a recommendation that is free from obligation.  Once in possession of this, you are free to take advantage of as many or as few improvement measures as you wish.  You can seek as many quotes as you want using a single assessment.  You can also get a quote within the Green Deal scheme, but have the improvement works done independently (although you would lose the additional protections that the Green Deal offers).

What is the Golden Rule?

The Golden Rule limits the amount of Green Deal finance that you can borrow, including interest, to the estimated energy bill savings from the energy efficiency improvements. This principle aims to keep the energy bills at the property no higher than they would have been had the property been without a Green Deal – this is important to protect you, and anyone else who may take on the Green Deal, from higher energy bills.

What is the maximum amount of work I can have done?

Your Assessor will recommend any Green Deal improvements that are appropriate for your property. There are numerous measures covered by the Green Deal and you may undertake any combination of these so long as they are recommended by the assessment as suitable for your property.

The Golden Rule limits the amount of Green Deal finance to the estimated energy bill savings from the improvements in the property.  So if the installation costs are likely to exceed the estimated savings, you will need to pay the remainder up front, or choose to install a different package of measures that allows the Golden Rule to be met.

If installation costs exceed £10,000 in total, a Green Deal Provider must ensure that before you enter the Green Deal Plan, you have received at least three quotes from different Green Deal Providers for installation of the proposed improvements.  You have the right to choose not to do this.

What is MPAN?

This is the Meter Point Administration Number/s (MPAN) for the electricity meter at the property, which will be needed later in order to enter into a Green Deal Plan.  This can be found on your electricity bill.

Can anyone enter a Green Deal?

The Green Deal is only available for properties that have an electricity meter and are supplied by a licensed electricity supplier.  A new EPC will be produced, replacing that provided with the Green Deal Report once the measures have been installed.  The Green Deal Provider will be responsible for ensuring this is produced and providing you with the Code of Practice.

Are there guarantees that savings will be achieved?

No, but the savings estimates used by Green Deal Providers to calculate the amount of finance they can offer a customer will be reduced by a set percentage (called an 'in-use factor'). Also, the Green Deal is susceptible to customer routine i.e. it is not possible to ‘make’ people close their windows when their heating system is still on.

What happens if my improvements are not up to scratch?  Am I protected against poor work?

You should always look out for the "Green Deal Approved" Quality Mark, which shows that the bearer is accredited.  If you are unhappy with the work, you should talk to your Provider first.  If a complaint or enquiry about the Green Deal cannot be resolved by your Green Deal Provider, you may be able to complain to the Ombudsman, depending on the complaint.  You can contact the Green Deal Ombudsman and Investigation Service on 0330 440 1624, or email  enquiries@osenergy.org.

What happens if I want to sell/rent my property?

All subsequent payments will be transferred to the new bill-payer, as they will become the beneficiary of the energy saving improvements.

Is there a cap on the amount of Green Deal finance available?

No, there is no cap on the amount of finance a customer can receive through Green Deal.

Can customers on pre-payment meters take out a Green Deal Plan?

Yes. However, the current design of prepayment meters does not allow for the collection of the Green Deal payment as a standing charge, therefore the charge will be collected in the same way as arrears are collected.


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