The Green Deal

The Green Deal officially launched in January 2013 in an effort to minimise UK carbon emissions and is aimed at encouraging homeowners, landlords and businesses to increase the energy efficiency of their property. However, 18 months later, it has been described as a ‘complete flop,’ and announcements have been made to reorganise it.

Which? has expressed its concern over the scheme and have planned to investigate the root causes of the lack of interest in the initiative, whereas the Green Party leader Natalie Bennett has claimed that it has been designed by the finance industry in order to benefit the finance industry.

How does it work?

The funding for the scheme is organised in a very effective way as no upfront payment is required for energy improvements. Instead, the cost of the scheme is paid through electricity bills with 7% interest. However, work carried out under the Green Plan should have reduced energy bills so therefore most of the time participants won’t be paying more.

Advantages for landlords

  • Energy-saving properties will definitely be at an advantage when a tenant is looking for a property. This will not only attract tenants but will also make them want to stay in their warm and energy efficient home. This means that landlords won’t be spending time and money looking to replace tenants.
  • By 2018, all rented homes will face mandatory minimum energy ratings so acting earlier will make a participating landlord’s job easier for when the obligations come into force.
  • If the landlord is paying the Green Deal charge then they can receive a cash back offer – for example, they can receive up to £320 for replacing single with double glazing.
  • Landlords can ask for a higher price when they decide to sell their property as it will have improved energy efficiency.

Disadvantages for landlords

Of course, every scheme has its pitfalls, therefore landlords must be aware of the disadvantages as well as the benefits. The deal is time consuming as it requires landlords to research an assessor, provider and installer. More importantly, many tenants feel that the 7% interest is too high especially to those who aren’t interested in reducing carbon emissions.

However does this mean that the Green Deal has failed? The complicated process coupled with very little interest in improving the energy efficiency of a household has led to an ineffective scheme. The initiative itself is necessary as a more energy efficient house means that less carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere, allowing us to live in a less polluted environment.

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‘Three energy saving light bulbs’ by Anton Fomkin is licensed under CC 

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