The Green Deal


The Green Deal is a provision within the Energy Act of 2011 that has recently passed through the government of the UK. The basic language of the provision is simple and has a number of potential ramifications for properties throughout the United Kingdom. The Green Deal ties loans for energy efficient building upgrades to the electricity bill of the property. What this means is that a property owner can proactively take on energy efficient building upgrades without worrying so much about the upfront cost of the upgrade. The cost of the upgrade would simply be tacked onto the electricity bill of the building where the upgrade was installed.

This can make energy efficient upgrades much more accessible to property owners that lack the necessary upfront funding to accomplish the upgrade. It also allows property owners to undertake these upgrades without worrying excessively about personal loan liability issues. The loan is tied to the property and not the owner. When the property is transferred, the loan doesn't follow the person that initiated the loan or the upgrade. It stays with the property until it is repaid.

Oversight

Since it is part of the Energy Act of 2011, the program is overseen by the Department of Energy and Climate Change. This is a relatively new department in the government of the United Kingdom that has only been around since 2008. The department has an operational budget of 1.5 billion GBP and is involved with implementing the many energy efficiency schemes of the UK government.

Consumer Protections

One of the most important aspects of the Green Deal is the stringent adherence to rigorous consumer protections that it espouses. There are many ways to help guarantee your protection if you are interested in having an upgrade done through the Green Deal program.

You will be given access to impartial advice from either an internet service or via telephone. This will help you to understand whether the Green Deal is the best option for your energy upgrade. You will also have access to an objective assessment from an assessor that is specially trained to help you through the Green Deal provisions. These two steps will help you to decide if you are even interested in pursuing a Green Deal upgrade in the first place.

You are also protected from unscrupulous installers and contract professionals. Installers wishing to be considered for Green Deal projects need to go through an extensive vetting process that ensures their credentials. This will eliminate any worry on your part about the quality of the work. Everyone involved with Green Deal improvements will be required to follow a very strict "Code of Practice" that is clearly understood by all parties.

There are also protections in place to help ensure that Green Deal participants do not start seeing any extra charges on their electricity bill until upgrades are finished. This means you can be sure that you will not start seeing the charges on your bill before you are prepared for them. It's all part of a heavy focus on transparency throughout the process. You will very clearly understand all of your obligations under the Green Deal if you take on Green Deal improvements. Anyone moving into Green Deal properties will also be made well aware of this fact before the property ever changes hands.

Incentives

The major incentive for commercial property and residential property owners is that they get the benefits of higher efficiency without needing funds upfront for the upgrade. Also, the loan for the enhancements does not go on your own personal credit. This means it won't follow you around for any longer than the time you are using the property.

Contact Information

If you are interested in getting general information on the Green Deal and the upgrade process, you can contact the Department of Energy and Climate Change. They can be reached via post at:

Department of Energy and Climate Change
3 Whitehall Place
London
SW1A 2AW
(Closest Underground Station: Charing Cross)

You can also reach the Department of Energy and Climate Change by telephone at 0300 060 4000.

The program is fully operational from October of 2012.