How the Green Deal can improve your home's energy efficiency.
The Green Deal helps you make energy-saving home improvements, like insulation, to make your home more comfortable. This scheme lets you pay for some or all of the improvements over time on your electricity bill. Repayments will be no more than what a typical household should save in energy costs.
Financial assistance through ECO
Some consumers may qualify for financial assistance through the Energy Company Obligation (ECO). Under this scheme, larger energy suppliers subsidises the installation of insulation and heating measures in domestic homes.
There are a number of important consumer protections that are intrinsic to the Green Deal. Green Deal plans are regulated under the Consumer Credit Act 1974. This provides important rights and protections, including cooling off periods and rules around exit arrangements and early repayments.
You can download a copy of the quick guide on consumer protection for the Green Deal [PDF: 966.95KB].
DECC has also published further information about suppliers’ duties to protect the consumer.
The private rented sector
With a high prevalence of poorly insulated, energy inefficient buildings, the private rented sector (PRS) has some of the biggest improvements to make. For example:
- the sector has the highest proportion of least energy efficient homes – 5.8% of G rated properties compared with 3.4% in owner-occupied homes
- 20% of households in the English private rented sector are fuel poor
- nearly two-thirds of the non-domestic property sector is privately rented and around 18% of those with an EPC have the lowest rating of F or G
Under the Green Deal, landlords will be able to make energy efficiency improvements without having to pay all the costs upfront. Tenants will repay the cost of the measures through their energy bill savings whilst enjoying a more energy efficient home.
Where the property is rented, both the landlord/provider and tenant must give permission for a Green Deal to be set up.
The tenant, as the electricity bill payer, will be responsible - as is currently the case with energy bill defaults.
As responsibility for paying the energy bill reverts from the tenant to the landlord when a property becomes vacant, so too will the Green Deal repayments during vacant periods.
When a new tenant moves in, they will need to be aware of the Green Deal and acknowledge the repayments they need to make. Landlords must provide a copy of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) or in Scotland, the EPC and Recommendations Report. This will show the:
- improvements that have been made under the Green Deal
- repayment amounts the electricity bill payer needs to make
- length of the Green Deal
- name of the Green Deal Provider
The Energy Act 2011 contains powers so that from 2016 landlords should not be able to refuse reasonable requests for consent to install Green Deal measures from their tenants. From 2018 landlords should ensure their privately rented properties meet a minimum energy efficiency standard (likely to be set at EPC rating ‘E’) or that they have installed the maximum package of measures under the Green Deal.
You may also want to read the following quick guides for domestic properties:
- The Green Deal for residential landlords [PDF: 852.19KB]
- The Green Deal for social housing tenants [PDF: 1068.27KB]
- The Green Deal for social housing providers [PDF: 1582.31KB]
Working Groups on Private Rented Sector (PRS) Regulations
The government has decided to set up 2 working groups to advise on this complex but important matter (one dealing with domestic issues & the other on non-domestic).
The independent chairs and members are drawn from landlord, tenant, local authority and environmental groups. The first set of meetings will take place on Monday 11 February and will last until the Summer, after which a PRS Regs consultation shall be launched.
- Working Groups on the Domestic Private Rented Sector (PRS) Regulations
- Working Groups on the Non-Domestic Private Rented Sector (PRS) Regulations
Social housing landlords and tenants
The social housing sector is well-placed to play a central role in delivering the Green Deal.
There are good examples of preparation work underway. This includes Gentoo, a Housing Association in the North East and Greater Manchester where local authorities and housing associations are working collectively.
Social housing providers can play a number of different roles in delivering the Green Deal. For example, they could become Green Deal providers [link to GD authorisation guide] in their own right or work in partnership with others to offer economies of scale. They could also have an important advocacy role.
Tenants will not be able to attach a Green Deal to a rental property without the consent of their landlord and landlords will need to gain the consent of a sitting tenant in order to attach the Green Deal charge to their electricity bill.
When a property with a Green Deal is sold or rented (or when a licence to occupy is issued) the person considering taking over the property should be informed about the Green Deal and what it means for them.
The potential buyer or tenant must confirm they will be liable for the Green Deal charges payable through the electricity bill.
Property professionals should assist those selling or renting to understand and properly meet their obligations, as well as informing potential new bill payers so they understand the Green Deal Plan they are taking on should they move into the property.
The Green Deal will be disclosed using the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). This is already used as part of the transaction process for sale and rent and is an existing requirement of the Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations.
Solicitors will engage with the Green Deal through their work representing clients in the transfer of property, through sale, rent or licence. Sellers will need to include an acknowledgement in the contract for sale or the lease or licence agreement.
Buyers may ask surveyors to check that Green Deal measures are present and as described on the EPC, as part of any survey of the property.
Where a bill payer was not made aware of the Green Deal, they will be able to raise the issue with their Green Deal provider and the relevant ombudsman, who will investigate the matter. If the case is proved, the Secretary of State can then order cancellation of the plan and require the person who failed to disclose and secure an acknowledgment to pay compensation to the provider.
The responsibility to disclose the Green Deal and to obtain acknowledgement rests with the seller or landlord. Agents can fulfil this responsibility on behalf of their clients, but liability does not move to the agents.
The Green Deal Guidance for the Property Industry in Great Britain
This guidance will be of interest to people selling, letting (social or private rented sector) or transferring a property other than through sale or letting, as well as those advising them. This guidance also contains some information which may be relevant to those wishing to make alterations to a Green Deal improved domestic or non- domestic property.
Small businesses and the Green Deal
If your business is involved in supplying and installing energy saving products you can get involved in the Green Deal. See our guide on how your business can benefit [PDF: 828.56KB].