Neil Pickstone
by Neil Pickstone

What’s the deal with the Green Deal?

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Here in the United Kingdom, a lot of us live in some pretty old housing. These properties were obviously built in a time when carbon emission was not exactly a concern of the government or the general population. As we all know though times have changed, the planet is getting warmer as a result of our selfish activity, and tendency to hog the shower for a touch too long.

This is why the government is attempting to establish a framework that will allow both firms to offer consumers energy efficiency improvements on their homes and businesses. How much will that cost? I hear you shout. Well, don’t worry, there will be no up front cost to people taking up one of these schemes known as a ‘Green Deal’. This idea here is to allow consumers of energy to pay back the costs of any improvements made over a prolonged period of time through their current energy bills.

Energy consumers will be able to see the Green Deal charges alongside the reductions in energy that are achieved, along with the level of cost saving in the energy bill itself. One good aspect of this is that if someone were to move from a property in which they already had a Green Deal, they would not have to take the bill or plan with them. The bill would move to the next tenant or owner of the property. The charge to the consumer therefore is only paid whilst the consumer enjoys the energy benefits.

The government will ensure that independent, objective advice is given to consumers when their property is being assessed for a Green Deal improvement. In order to qualify for a GD, the expected savings that would be typically made in a particular property will have to be equal or greater than the total cost of installation. Even though the government cannot completely ensure that consumers don’t use more energy (is after all their own choice), advice will be available to those seeking to carry out a GD in terms of ensuring the consumers have a better idea of how to be more energy efficient in their homes and businesses.

The reason the government is implementing this are pretty clear. The legislated amount of reduction set out in 2008 for carbon emissions in comparison to 1990 is 34% by the year 2020 and 80% by 2050. Whether it will be effective in both reducing people’s energy bills and saving the planet from an environmental apocalypse however is yet to be seen.  It is however, a step in the right direction.

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