Green Deal or Good Deal? Refurbishing The UK’s homes to eco homes

oliver General

Well, it’s a little over a year until the proposed launch of the Government’s Green Deal and it seems like there’s so much to do before this home-fixing package is ready. Will it really happen? And if it does, will it really do what it’s supposed to?

For those of you still a little confused by what the Green Deal is, in a nutshell  about helping to make our homes more efficient and cutting our carbon emissions. This will be achieved largely its thought by installing insulation and more efficient heating systems.

The idea is pretty straightforward. You get a loan (of up to £10,000) which is rather uniquely positioned on your home, not you, to make your home more energy efficient and pay it back over 25 years via the savings that you make on your utility bills. Of course, the main incentive is that future savings will outweigh the original cost. If everything goes according to plan then everybody benefits: the companies doing the work and the consumers who get energy efficient and of course warmer more comfortable homes to live in.

Currently our homes account for 27% of the country’s carbon emissions and this needs to be reduced by 80% by 2050. With most homes that will exist in 2050 already having been built, you can see why we really need the Green Deal.

There are 2 key challenges here, making this work for consumers encouraging them to take up the challenge; and making it work financially for those institutions who look to fund and roll out the improvements. Private companies quickly saw the lucrative potential. Even energy companies, who might not have seen the benefit of selling less energy, soon realised that lower bills mean happier customers. But what about the average home owner?

I think a greater explanation of the long-term advantages both in terms of lower emissions as well as financial savings is needed. If it’s just about saving money then it may be tempting to only go for improvements offering the most immediate savings it would be a massive missed opportunity, but that does seems to be the current direction.

This is a real opportunity for a revolution both in terms of energy use and the way we think about our homes in general but consumers really should be getting a green deal as well as a good one.

More on this hot issue soon…………..