The Green Deal is the new government initiative designed to help business and homeowners to employ more green technologies into their properties with little or no up-front cost.
Will this be of benefit to landlords?
Well, effectively the Green Deal is allowing you to improve your properties without any cost and of course these improvements will appeal to your tenants and boost your investment. The best part is as the repayments are made through your electricity bill the tenants will pay for the benefit for as long as the loan lasts or until they vacate the property.
Energy-saving improvements include;
* Insulation – eg loft or cavity wall insulation
* Double glazing
* Renewable energy technologies – eg solar panels or wind turbines
How will it work?
1. Arrange for a Green Deal Assessor to carry out a survey of your property to list what improvements you can make and how much this will save your tenant(s)
2. Choose a Green Deal provider to carry out the work and discuss with them what work you want done
3. Once you have decided to go ahead sign your Green Deal Plan which becomes the contract between you and the provider stating how much it will cost
4. The provider will arrange with a green deal installer to carry out the work
5. Once the installation is complete the loan repayments are collected from the electricity bill through installments
Things you need to know
1. All Green Deal organisations must be authorised and will carry the Green Deal approved quality mark
2. You must get your tenants permission before you sign up
3. Some companies will charge for an assessment and survey of the property so check in advance
4. You can get as many quotes as you like before choosing your provider
5. The cost of the installation will be shown on your Green Deal Plan and should include the interest rate
6. You may need the permission of your freeholder
7. You will need to check with your energy supplier if they participate in the collection scheme before switching
8. For a limited period a cash back scheme is in place for home-owners and tenants in England and Wales. Landlords are eligible to apply if they pay for installation. See link below,
How does the loan work?
The amount you will repay is based on what a typical household or business is expected to save on energy bills by having the work done. Most improvements should reduce your heating bill because you’ll be using less gas, electricity or oil – the actual saving does depend on the energy usage and future cost of energy.
The money is paid back through your electricity bill and this of course is paid by your tenants, your tenants should not see significant changes in their bills as the cost is offset by the savings. If your property has a prepayment meter a small amount will be taken from that each day.
The Green Deal stays with the property and will transfer to the new owners should you sell.
Critics of the scheme
There have been some critics of the scheme. One article which may be of interest is listed below.
Useful Links and contacts
Energy Saving Advice Service – 0300 123 1234 – Free impartial advice
Energy Saving Scotland – 0800 512 012 – Free impartial advice
https://gdcashback.decc.gov.uk/ or Scotland http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/scotland/Take-action/Find-a-grant/Green-Homes-Cashback-Scheme
- Search for a provider, assessor or installer in your area