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What is the Green Deal?

With increasing press coverage, there are increasing rumours (and confusion) as to what the Green Deal is, and which industries it’ll cover. The Energy Bill was introduced in Parliament on the 8th of December, 2010, which included the Green Deal itself.

The goal of the programme is to “revolutionise the efficiency of British properties” according to the Department of Energy and Climate Change website. How will the government achieve this? The answer is through a framework to encourage households and businesses to buy energy efficiency measures from private companies. Those wishing to install energy efficiency improving measures will be able to buy products such as loft insulation not as an up-front payment, but instead in a monthly format through their bills.

However, the golden rule tying this all together is that the savings made on each bill must be greater than the ongoing cost of a loan to buy the home improvements. This means that there will be minimal cost to the government, but there is already a lot of criticism in place, such as a recent article in the Guardian, saying that the “market level of interest” as decided by the government, will make a crucial impact on the scheme, and could make many products unaffordable through the scheme.

Currently, no firm decision has been made as to which industries will be covered by the Green Deal. The DECC have included loft, cavity and solid wall insulation as an example on their website, with no mention of double glazing or boilers, although both of those industries have members lobbying the government. It would seem logical that these further methods of decreasing emissions should be covered – the example of external solid wall insulation costs approximately £10,000 and only saves around £400 per year, whereas the Energy Saving Trust state that replacing a very old boiler could save £300, but at a cost closer to £3,000. With the target being for the installations of energy improvements to start from March 2012, it’ll be interesting to see the impact it has on demand for insulation (which we also can provide, along with solar panels - phone us if you're interested), so keep reading and you’ll see reports here.