The Pros and Cons of the Green Deal
Last year I moved my family to a Manor House, which is not as glamorous as it sounds. With no carpets, an overgrown garden, little double glazing and a boiler as old as electricity itself, we were overwhelmed with the space but paid no attention to the bills.
I envisaged an office separated from the family rooms so I could work without interruptions, while my husband adored the cellar for a workshop and the gardens for his vegetable growing.
In August it was idyllic, as with all hands on deck we worked hard on the weekends to free the garden of nettles and make the house a home. Then the winter came.
Suddenly I seemed to be working incredible hours simply to pay the oil, water and electricity bills, never mind any extras. As we totted up that these three cost £600 a month alone, we realised something had to change.
So we contacted the green deal with visions of a new efficient boiler, double glazing and insulation that would keep us a little bit warmer (and wealthier) during winter.
What the Green Deal Offer
The green deal has been launched by the government to give every household the chance to become more energy efficient. Their scheme is innovative as it allows you to benefit from double glazing, new boilers, cavity wall insulation and even wood burning stoves for less.
Basically you take a loan that is then tied to the house (not you), and you pay it back for as long as you live in the property. The new tenants or owners then take over the loan which can be as little as a couple of pounds a week.
The cost of repayments promises to be less than the amount of money you save on utility bills so it seems like a win win situation.
Why Hasn't It Taken Off?
I applied in May, quite frankly, I was willing to pay more than a few pounds a week if it meant a tank full of oil would last longer than 3 weeks and we could dress without lighting a fire to keep the cold out, however despite their assurances that an assessor would be in touch I've heard nothing.
Today I noticed that the Telegraph claims that out of 180000 households that applied only 2 have had work completed.
The government say this is due to the lack of interest. They're certain they'll receive more applications but claim that only hundreds as opposed to thousands have so far implied. Of course both sets of information are conflicting so who do you believe?
Is It Worth Applying?
I'd advise you to apply if you're happy to take out the loan as the benefits promise to be beneficial for you and your home. It can't hurt to register and to get your name on the database for when the initiative pulls its finger out. It takes only a minute to put in a request for an assessor and you will receive a reply although I've yet to meet anyone who has got past this stage.
Maybe it will be you? If it is please let me know... winter is on its way!