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The Green Deal scheme explained

The Government’s Green Deal scheme was designed to help homeowners make energy-saving improvements to their property, like loft insulation or double glazing. Although government funding has now been pulled, you can still apply for the scheme through private companies.

The Government’s Green Deal scheme was designed to help homeowners make energy-saving improvements to their property, like loft insulation or double glazing. Although government funding has now been pulled, you can still apply for the scheme through private companies.

Written by
Dan Tremain
Energy and business energy expert
Last Updated
7 min read
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What is the Green Deal scheme?

The Green Deal scheme is the name of a government initiative designed to encourage people to make energy-saving improvements to their properties.

It was originally set up as a Green Deal loan scheme, allowing households to spread the cost of their home improvements over 10-25 years. However, government backing for the scheme ended in 2015 and it’s now run through private providers.

Loans are available for these home improvements:

  • Replacing windows and doors
  • Installing secondary glazing
  • Using energy-efficient lighting
  • Insulating lofts or walls
  • Adding draught proofing
  • Upgrading heating
  • Generating renewable energy from sources like wind or solar power.

But only if your Green Deal assessment recommends them.

How does the Green Deal scheme work?

The Green Deal scheme is essentially a loan that you pay back through repayments added to your electricity bill.

The idea is that the cost of the Green Deal loan shouldn’t be higher than the energy you save – so your outgoings won’t increase. Potentially, they might even decrease.

To get a loan, you’ll need to have your home assessed by a registered and authorised assessor, who then makes recommendations for energy-saving improvements.

Is the Green Deal still available?

The original Government Green Deal is no longer available. Low take-up of the scheme and concerns about quality of workmanship meant that funding for the loans was stopped in July 2015.

In 2017, the scheme was resurrected by private investors, but loans are not as easy to come by as before. However, under the new Green Deal scheme you may still be able to get help to pay for energy improvement work to your home, if you qualify.

The GOV.UK website has details of how to get green financing for your home and includes links to suppliers who can carry out the assessment and installation.

The Green Deal shouldn’t be confused with the Green Homes Grant, a different scheme that closed on 31 March 2021.

Boiler Upgrade Scheme grants

As an alternative to the Green Deal scheme, you may be able to get a grant of up to £7,500 towards the cost of installing a low carbon heating system such as ground source heat pumps, air source heat pumps or £5,000 towards biomass boilers, through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS).

The scheme runs to 2028 in England and Wales. Different energy efficiency grants and loans are available in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Who is eligible for the Green Deal scheme?

Any household with an electricity meter (including prepayment meters) in England, Scotland or Wales may be able to use the scheme. The Green Deal plan is not available in Northern Ireland.

If the building is rented, both the landlord and the tenant must agree to the improvements.

The Green Deal scheme could be right for you if you think your property could benefit from energy-saving improvements. If you need help, you can talk to Government Energy Advice if you’re in England or Wales, or Home Energy Scotland if you’re in Scotland.

Government Energy Advice
Phone: 0800 098 7950
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Saturday, 9am to 12pm

Home Energy Scotland
Phone: 0808 808 2282
Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm
Saturday, 9am to 5pm

How can you get a Green Deal loan?

You must get your property assessed to use the Green Deal scheme. You can either find an approved Green Deal assessor yourself, using the Green Deal providers register, or use a Green Deal provider to find an assessor for you.

Authorised Green Deal organisations should carry a quality mark – a greenhouse with a tick on the left side of the roof with the words ‘Green Deal Approved’.

You might have to pay for an assessment. If so, you must be told the cost beforehand. There’s no fixed fee but, typically, it’s around £100-£200, but may depend on the size and location of your property.

After the assessment, you’ll get a Green Deal advice report that includes an Energy Performance Certificate and recommendations for improvements. Plus a statement as to whether the improvements will pay for themselves through reduced energy costs. Of course, actual savings will depend on how much energy you use and the future cost of energy. 

You can then decide whether you want to get the work done and how you want to pay for it.

What happens in a Green Deal assessment?

When you book an assessment, you’ll be asked some basic questions about your property, including: 

  • whether you own or rent it
  • what the construction of your home is and when it was built
  • if there are access issues – for example, getting into your loft
  • what your energy use has been.

During the visit, the assessor will look at the property, your heating appliances and any energy-saving measures already in place.

They may ask you questions about how often you use your heating, what temperature you have it set at and how many baths and showers you have. This helps personalise the report for your household. 

After the assessor’s visit, you’ll be sent a formal report and recommendations about what can be improved. These should set out what could be done, the estimated costs and the estimated savings. 

You can then choose what work you might want to undertake.

How can you get Green Deal work done?

This may depend on the options available to you for paying for the work. You may be able to: 

  • Ask a Green Deal provider to arrange the installation of improvements and pay for the work yourself.
  • Ask a Green Deal provider to arrange the installation of improvements and set up a Green Deal finance plan with a provider to pay for it.
  • Choose your own installers to make the improvements and pay for them yourself.
  • Pay for the work with a combination of a Green Deal finance plan, your own money and finance from another scheme.

Find approved Green Deal providers and installers.

As with any other work on your property, get quotes before you commit yourself. You should give the provider or installer your Green Deal report. 

Any quotes from a Green Deal provider will include your repayment terms, if you’re using a finance plan. You can get more than one quote and you don’t have to have all the work done that’s been suggested.

How do you pay for work done under the Green Deal scheme?

A Green Deal provider can offer you finance terms, but you should ask if you or your property are eligible for funding from one of these schemes:

  • Energy Company Obligation – energy companies provide help for home improvements to people on benefits or living in social housing.
  • Smart Export Guarantee – if you generate more power than you need (for example, with solar or a wind turbine) you could sell the excess back to your energy provider.
  • Local authority schemes – run to improve energy efficiency in homes. Check with your local council to see what, if anything, is available.

What else do I need to know about paying for Green Deal work?

The whole ethos of the Green Deal is that loan repayments shouldn’t be more than the savings you make on your energy bills. But this isn’t a guarantee that your bill savings will equal the cost of your loan repayments.

This is because the savings are based on estimates of a typical household’s energy usage and savings. And it doesn’t account for energy price rises and falls.

Plus, there’s no set interest rate. It will be determined by the amount of your finance plan. Check with your Green Deal provider for rates and fees. The interest rate is fixed for the full term of the plan so your repayments will be fixed.

Frequently asked questions

What happens to the Green Deal loan if I move house?

The Green Deal loan is attached to the property you live in, not you. If you sell your home, it passes to the new owner who’ll benefit from the energy-saving improvements that have been made.

What happens if I move into a property with the Green Deal?

If you move into a home with a Green Deal, your landlord or the person selling the property must show you a copy of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). This will spell out what improvements have been made and how much you’ll need to repay.

Then, whoever pays the electricity bill will have to pay the outstanding money on the loan. You can switch suppliers, but you’ll have to choose an electricity supplier that’s part of the Green Deal scheme.

I already have a Green Deal loan. Can I switch energy suppliers?

You can switch energy suppliers if the new supplier participates in the Green Deal scheme. The loan will switch to your new supplier.

What happens when the Green Deal loan is paid off?

Once the loan is paid in full, it will be removed from your bill. You can then enjoy the savings that the energy efficiency may have brought.

Can I pay off a Green Deal loan early?

If you took out a Green Deal loan before May 2014, you might be charged a fee to pay it off early. But if you got the loan after this date, you won’t have to pay an early-repayment fee.

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