Green Deal launches with just two providers
British Gas and the Mark Group the only companies to offer Government's flagship energy saving initiative on launch day.
The Government’s flagship Green Deal has launched with little fanfare and a lot of questions still needing answers.
Only British Gas and the Mark Group have so far come on board with the scheme. And a Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) spokesperson confirmed that the finance for the scheme won’t be available until 28th January 2013.
What is the Green Deal?
Very simply, the Green Deal offers loans to pay for energy insulation measures such as cavity wall and loft insulation, and renewable energy products including solar panels. The repayments for the loan, including interest, will be added to a household’s electricity bills.
However, the whole initiative is built on the premise that the savings a household will make on its energy bills will quickly outweigh the repayments. This has been called the ‘Golden Rule’. For more on the scheme and how it's proposed it will work, read The Green Deal explained.
What's on offer now
British Gas is offering Green Deal assessments for £99. The Mark Group told me that "details are not confirmed yet". But with the DECC spokesperson confirming that they are likely to be incentives offered from January, it's worth holiding out to see who else is going to come on board and what they will offer.
Questions that still need answering
- Will the Golden Rule be binding and will companies be penalised if the savings doesn't outweigh the installation?
- Who else will offer the Green Deal?
- What interest rate will be charged?
- Will there be any early repayment penalties?
- What protection will be offered to prevent cowboy installers ripping people off?
- Will any incentives be offered to persuade us to take it up?
You could get free insulation now
While the Green Deal continues to be finalised, if you don't have home insulation you should take advantage of current schemes, particularly if you’re on a low income or benefits.
British Gas and EDF are among the companies still offering free loft and cavity wall insulation installation, irrespective of whether you’re a customer.
And if you’re on a low income or benefits, you could receive shopping vouchers or cash once the installation is complete.
To find out more about these offers, read How to get free cavity wall and loft insulation
If you want help with energy saving, you can call the new, impartial Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234 if you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. Calls are charged at standard national rates.
If you live in Scotland, call your local Energy Saving Scotland advice centre free on 0800 512 012.