Saturday, 16 March 2013

Green Deal Cashback

The Green Deal Cashback Scheme is a first-come, first-served offer where householders in England and Wales can claim Cashback from Government on energy saving improvements like insulation, front doors, windows and boilers. Packages could be worth over £1000 - the more you do, the more you get.
Up to £125m has been earmarked for the Cashback Scheme. The rates below are guaranteed for the first £40m after which they are likely to reduce. Act early to get the best rates.

Loft insulation (including top up) and insulating cavity walls (where appropriate) are important, basic energy saving measures. So where a Green Deal assessment recommends these alongside other improvements, householders will only be able to get the Cashback if they do these too.
Qualifying Energy Efficiency Measure Cashback Level
Loft insulation (incl. top up) £100
Cavity wall insulation £250
Solid wall insulation* £650
Flat roof insulation £390
Room in roof insulation £220
Floor insulation £150
Hot water cylinder insulation (incl. top up)** £10
Draught proofing £50
Heating controls (roomstat and/or programmer and time/temperature zone controls)** £70
Condensing oil boiler from non-condensing oil heating or other*** £310
Upgrade boiler to condensing gas boiler from non-condensing boiler or other £270
Flue gas heat recovery (condensing combi boiler) only alongside replacement boiler £90
New or replacement storage heaters £150
Replacement warm-air unit £320
Waste water heat recovery systems £60
Double/triple glazing (old single to A) £20 per m2 up to a maximum of £320
High performance replacement doors £40
Secondary glazing £15 per m2 up to a maximum of £230

Further conditions of Cashback
* A minimum of 50% of external walls must be insulated to qualify for a Cashback on solid wall insulation.
** Cannot be claimed at same time as boiler replacement (as this is a regulatory requirement).
*** Householders should consider their renewable heat options, as they could get a higher payment under Renewable Heat Premium Payment now, for certain measures.

Ed Davey defends green deal interest rates

Ed Davey, the energy and climate change secretary, defended the government's green deal loan scheme on Tuesday, saying the interest rates of around 7% for householders to undertake energy efficiency works are not excessive.

The flagship scheme, launched in January, allows householders to repay long-term loans for installing up to 40 different energy saving technologies via their electricity bills. But it was widely criticised at its launch for failing to provide enough incentives for the householder and for being overly complex.

"I would not expect many people to apply for finance yet. It's a bit too early," said Davey. "I won't concede that loan costs are too high. You have to compare it with unsecured loan and not mortgages. This is a great deal," he told delegates at Ecobuild, a sustainable building show in London.

"We are not trying to pretend that we have everything right. There will be issues to address. We will be responsive to get rid of the niggles," he said.

Davey fuelled rumours that the scheme had been poorly taken up by the public, citing "legal reasons" for not disclosing how many households had so far asked for assessments on the energy efficiency of their homes or the number of people who had applied for loans.

"Our plan is to issue monthly reports starting this spring," he said.

Eight million homes need solid wall insulation, 6m could get more loft insulation."

"The relative cost of the loans is higher than most mortgages. People are challenged by the numbers. It adds fuel to their fears of taking up more debt. More credit checks are occurring. You can understand, but there's the creeping [idea] that this will make it harder for some householders to access finance. There is more room to be flexible and to bring costs down," he said.

The industry was divided on the initial take up. "It is delivering. Based on the feedback we have had, it has changed the nature of the conversation about energy efficiency," said Paul King, chief executive of the Green Building Council. "There is a very live discussion about the creation of a new industry with the potential of 26 million customers in the UK. It is possible to see an explosion of interest in a few years' time."

However, some small companies said they feared that green deal would undermine their businesses.

Stephen Bull, who runs a plumbing and heating firm with 2,000 customers in London, said that the green deal scheme was complex, expensive for small builders to take part in, and could undermine his business.

"We want to make sure we don't get left behind and I want to become an installer. But it seems to be a very much a top-down approach, set up by big business for big business. It seems only suitable for them. We could actually lose our clients to big multinational companies.

"In principle the idea is good and I want it to work. But even if I become a green deal installer, I would not necessarily get the work from my existing clients. I am struggling to understand it.full article

Green Deal 1800 homes have been assessed

The scheme is meant to overhaul the UK’s inefficient housing stock. A month since the scheme officially launched on 28 January in England and Wales and 25 February in Scotland, the number could seem underwhelming for a scheme which is meant to revolutionise the whole country.

As the first Green Deal statistics were published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, ministers defended the scheme for its role in driving a “promising new market”.

Energy Secretary Ed Davey declared he is confident that consumer interest “will grow and grow”.

Mr Davey said: “The number of businesses getting on board is increasing daily – highlighting the growing confidence that the Green Deal offers fantastic new opportunities. Forty firms are already authorised as providers, with a further 629 registered to carry out installations and 619 individuals registered to offer assessments. This underlines that the Green Deal is very much up and running.”

Campaigners expressed fears for the future of the scheme given the UK’s rising fuel bills.

Friends of the Earth said in a statement: “The Green Deal is heading for trouble without lower interest rates, more money to tackle fuel poverty and tough regulations on landlords renting out dangerously cold homes. 1,803 homes have been assessed, not actually insulated – it’s still early days, but the initial signs aren’t good.”
full article

Friday, 8 March 2013

The landlords who need to meet 'green' deadline

WEST Midlands landlords have been warned that they must go green under new laws or they won't be able to rent out their homes.

If they do not improve their properties' energy efficiency, says local energy expert Ron Fox, up to one in ten buy-to-let homes will be ineligible to be let in five years' time.
Ron, who runs Staffordshire-based green energy company Noreus, said that owners won't be allowed to rent out properties with the two lowest efficiency ratings of F and G under new laws coming into operation in April 2018.

Also, from 2016, landlords cannot refuse tenants' "reasonable" requests for green measures, such as improvements to insulation.

full article