Today sees the launch of the Green Deal – you have possible heard of it, but probably don't know the details of what it offers or how it works. The government haven't in my opinion been very forthcoming when it comes to publicising it! So what does it offer and is it worth your time?
Well, on the face of it the scheme is a great idea, providing funding for home improvement that make a property 'greener' – by way of new boilers, better insulation etc – you get the idea. The repayments are handled by your services provider, the idea being that the savings you make on heating are paid for by the cost of your loan – so in effect your bill doesn't drop, but your house is more efficient – but here lies the problem;
The loan can be over a long period – up to 25 years and passes with the property. So if you do a lot of green deal improvements and then a few years down the line sell up, the loan passes to the next owner.
Perhaps even more of a problem is that the loan is not interest free and this can actually make it more expensive that just borrowing the money on tHe high street to do the works!
But the real killer is that the initial survey is not free – costs of between £100 – £150 are quoted, and this is not recoverable if the green deal won't actually work for your property!
People will only do these works if they can see a benefit in their pocket – everything about the way the deal works goes against this – and is possibly why since October when green deal surveys could start to be done only a handful (literally) have been done!
So a great idea, but very badly managed. Cost to the government will be the reason for the charges and interest payments, but I cannot see the Green Deal doing much business until something changes…..