What is the ‘Green Deal’?
The Green Deal is an initiative to reduce carbon emissions cost effectively by improving the energy efficiency of British properties, including homes and businesses. Over half of the UK’s 26 million homes are insufficiently insulated: the Green Deal sets out to tackle this problem.
The largest home improvement programme ever launched, the scheme works by allowing homeowners to make improvements to their properties for energy savings without any upfront financial outlay. Instead, they take out a loan which is tied to the property rather than the individual. The loan is repaid over a period of up to 25 years by being added to the property’s energy bill.
The finance mechanism involved is based on providing the reassurance that the cost of the home improvements should be covered by savings on energy bills.
As the financial obligation is attached to the property, there are no costs to the consumer once they sell or leave the property.
Taking part in the Green Deal is a five-stage process:
- A Green Deal Advisor assesses the property and provides a Green Deal assessment
- The homeowner decides whether they wish to implement one or more (if any) of the recommended energy efficiency measures
- The householder contacts a Green Deal Provider(s) to obtain and sign a Green Deal Plan for their chosen energy efficiency measures
- The Green Deal Provider arranges installation by an approved Green Deal installer.
- The loan is repaid via the property’s energy bill.
For help finding a Green Deal Provider, call the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234 or visit the official The Green Deal Oversight and Registration Body (GD ORB).
The Department of Climate Change (DECC) have produced a number of guides to the Green Deal and ECO for various interested parties – householders, landlords, social housing providers, etc) and these can be downloaded on the navigation bar on the right.
What is ‘ECO’?
The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is a new programme that is designed to reduce Britain’s energy consumption by funding home improvements worth around £1.3 billion every year.
ECO was introduced on 1st January 2012 and will run to the end of March 2015 and although the initiative will be a wholly new scheme, with a different scope and set of priorities to CERT and CESP, it does share the same basic underlying mechanic – that it requires energy companies to meet targets through actions to encourage energy efficiency.
Working as a standalone funding subsidy or in conjunction with the Green Deal, ECO funding support is being targeted at specific households (eg. the poorest and most vulnerable) and those types of property (i.e. solid wall properties) which cannot achieve financial savings without an additional or different measure of support.
There are three key elements to ECO for the UK’s big energy suppliers:
- Affordable Warmth Obligation
- Carbon Saving Obligation
- Carbon Saving Communities Obligation
ECO funding is delivered to customers either directly from the supplier or by organisations working together, who have made special arrangements, such as Green Deal Providers.
Why the SWIGA Guarantee?
The SWIGA Guarantee is an external, internal or hybrid solid wall insulation guarantee that is aligned to meet the requirements of the Green Deal.
Additionally, OFGEM, administrator for ECO, specify that the SWIGA guarantee (or equivalent) is acceptable under ECO for external, internal and hybrid wall insulation funded measures.