FAQs

Question:1. Why Does Government Offer Green Deal?
Answer: 

"Our housing stock - the oldest in Europe- is costing us the earth. So we have set up The Green Deal to bring our homes into the 21st century. The government needs to meet our European targets for carbon reduction by 2020.  A quarter of the UK's carbon emissions comes from the energy we use to heat our homes, so making our houses more energy-efficient, so that they use less carbon, is an important part of this."

Chris Huhne, Energy & Climate Change Secretary, 2012.

Top


Question:2. What is Green Deal?
Answer: 

The Green Deal is a government scheme to radically improve the energy efficiency of Britain's homes, which are some of the least energy-efficient in Europe.

Green Deal encourages homeowners and tenants (who rent through private landlords) to take out government-backed long-term, easy-to-repay loans to insulate their homes so that they save energy. At present, people who are in social housing cannot take out a Green Deal Plan.

People can also use their loans to install a range of green technologies that generate low-cost energy, such as heat pumps, solar panels and wind power.

The loans are issued by accredited Green Deal providers and repaid out of the money saved on fuel bills, which means that you can install energy-saving improvements at no upfront cost.

The loan is repaid through your electricity bill.  The person who takes out the Green Deal loan must be the bill payer.

In order to qualify for a Green Deal loan, you need to have a Green Deal energy assessment of your home, and the improvements recommended need to meet the "Golden Rule."

Top


Question:3. How does a Green Deal Loan and Plan work?
Answer: 

 If your proposed energy-saving improvements meet the Golden Rule, then you can apply for them to be funded by a Green Deal loan, also called a Green Deal Plan. Your Green Deal Provider arranges this.  As with any loan, you will need to be credit-checked.

The Golden Rule states that the expected financial savings must be equal to or greater than the costs attached to the energy bill.  In other words, the energy-saving improvements must pay for themselves over the period of the loan.

The government has made it easier to qualify for a Green Deal loan than many other types of consumer loan. Uniquely, the Green Deal loan is attached to the property, not to you personally, so if you leave the property the next owner or tenant will carry on repaying it in the property's electricity bill.  They will continue to benefit from the improvements. You can apply for a Green Deal Assesment on your new property.

Once you have installed energy-saving improvements, you begin to repay the loan through your electricity bill.  It is the person who pays the electricity bill who takes out the Green Deal loan.

The interest rate is fixed for the duration of the loan. The loan can be for a maximum of 25 years. The Green Deal loan does not begin to be repaid until all the energy-saving measures have been installed.

You can choose to fund all or part of the energy improvements yourself rather than taking out a Green Deal Loan. A Green Deal Loan may pay for some or all of the costs of your energy improvements. For example, you may need to contribute to the cost of more expensive measures such as external wall insulation or solar PV. You can combine a Green Deal Plan with other funds.

There are a number of conditions that must be observed by a Green Deal Plan:

1. The measures must meet the Golden Rule.

2. The measures must be approved and the claimed bill savings must be those accredited through this process.

3. The measures installed must have been recommended for that property by a Green Deal accredited, objective adviser who has carried out a Green Deal energy assessment.

4. The measures must be installed by an accredited installer.

5. For householders, the Green Deal provider must give appropriate advice within the terms of the Consumer Credit Act and take account of the individual circumstances of the applicant.

6. The Green Deal provider must have consent from the relevant parties, including the express consent of the current energy bill payer.

7. The presence of a Green Deal Plan must be disclosed to subsequent billpayers (e.g. new owners or tenants) alongside EPC information.

8. Energy suppliers must collect the Green Deal charge and pass it on within the existing regulatory safeguards for collecting energy bill payments - including protections for vulnerable consumers.

See "What is a Green Deal Plan?"

 To qualify for the Green Deal, expected savings in typical properties consuming a normal amount of energy must be equal to or greater than the cost of the measure. However, actual cash savings cannot be guaranteed by government since no-one except individuals and businesses themselves can control how much energy they actually consume in their own property. Whilst the consumer has ultimate responsibility for reducing consumption after the Green Deal measures have been installed, Green Deal providers will give energy users advice on how to change their behaviour to maximise the benefits of having of better insulated, less wasteful properties.

Also see: "What is the Golden Rule?" "Is a Green Deal loan for me?" "What is the Green Deal cashback scheme?" "What if I move house?" and "What is a Green Deal Plan?"

Top


Question:4. What is the Golden Rule?
Answer: 

To qualify for a Green Deal Loan, your energy improvements have to meet the Golden Rule, which states that the expected financial savings must be equal to or greater than the costs attached to the energy bill.  In other words, you should save enough money on your energy bills to repay the Green Deal loan. 

Actual cash savings cannot be guaranteed, since no-one except the individuals who live in the property can control how much energy they actually use there. Green Deal providers will give advice on how people can change their behaviour to maximise the benefits of having of better insulated, less wasteful properties.

The amount you repay for Green Deal improvements is based on the cost of the measurers installed and the term of the loan.  The cost will be shown on your Green Deal Plan (the contract between you and the provider), and will include the interest rate.

Most improvements should reduce your heating bill because you'll be using less electricity, gas or oil - but the actual savings depend on your energy use and the future cost of energy.

Once you have installed energy saving improvements, you will start to use less energy.  The overall energy bills, including the Green Deal payments, should be less or equal to the payments that you made before the measures were installed.

You can choose to contribute to the cost of the loan to make it meet the Golden Rule.

If your home doesn't meet the Golden Rule, other funds (such as ECO) may be available.

Top


Question:5. What is Eco? Am I eligible?
Answer: 

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is a fund that the major energy companies pay into to pay for or towards the cost of new boilers, repairs to boilers, and insulation.

Call 0800 917 5772 to ask for advice on what you can claim. Your Green Deal Assessor can also advise you. You may claim ECO funds if you are an owner-occupier or rent privately; you cannot claim if you are in social housing.

There are three kinds of ECO funds:

1. Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation (CERO) for solid wall insulation and "hard to treat" cavity wall insulation.

2. Carbon Saving Community Obligation (CSCO) for insulation & connections to district heating systems for low income & rural areas.

3. The Affordable Warmth Obligation (also known as the Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation, HHCRO) for repair and replacement of boilers, and installation of insulation, for people on certain benefits, to reduce the overall cost of space heating.  It replaces the "Warm Front" fund.

Am I eligible?

ECO funds aim to help people who can't afford to install energy-saving measures, and people who have houses where it is particularly expensive to install energy-saving measures, e.g. some houses do not have cavity walls, and insulation for solid walls is expensive. You may be able to claim ECO funds if you live in a low-income area.

Qualifying benefits  for Affordable Warmth (also called AW ECO or HHCRO)

a. Child Tax Credit and an income of £15,860 or less

b. Income-related employment and support allowance and receiving a work-related activity or support component; or  has parental responsibility for a qualifying child; or is in receipt of a qualifying component;

c. Income-based job seeker's allowance and has parental responsibility for a qualifying child; or is in receipt of a qualifying component;

d. Income support and has parental responsibility for a qualifying child; or is in receipt of a qualifying component;

e. State pension credit;

f. Working tax credit and has a relevant income of £15,860 or less and-has parental responsibility for a qualifying child; or is in receipt of a disabled worker element or severe disability element; or is aged 60 years or over.

DEFINITIONS: 

a qualifying child is one that normally resides with the claimant and is under 16, or between 16 and 20 and in full-time education, excluding Higher Education (within the meaning of section 579 (1) of the Education Act 1996.)

qualifying component means: child tax credit which includes disability or severe disability element; a disabled child premium; a disability premium, enhanced disability premium or severe disability premium; or a pensioner premium, higher pensioner premium or enhanced pensioner premium.

parental responsibility has the same meaning as in section 3 of the Children Act 1989

Top


Question:6. ECO: how long will the scheme last?
Answer: 
ECO funds are available until March 2015.
Top


Question:7. What is CERO?
Answer: 

The Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation (CERO) scheme funds solid wall insulation and hard to treat cavity wall insulation.  It is part of the ECO grant scheme

Top


Question:8. Am I eligible for Green Deal?
Answer: 

Currently, owner occupiers are eligible for a Green Deal.  The government has declared its intention to extend the scheme e.g. to non-domestic properties. 

You will find out if you are eligible once you have had a Green Deal Assessment. 0800 917 5772 to arrange this. You will be asked some qualifying questions.

Once you have had your Green Deal energy assessment, you will find out if your improvements meet the Golden Rule, which states that the expected financial savings made by the energy-saving improvements in properties must be equal to or greater than the cost of the energy-saving measures, i.e. you should save enough money on your energy bills to pay off the Green Deal loan.

If your improvements meet the Golden Rule, you may apply for a Green Deal loan. You may also be eligible for other grants such as ECO.  Your Green Deal Assessor will guide you.

The government's website has a calculator which works out what you are entitled to. Go to https://www.gov.uk/energy-grants-calculator.

Top


Question:9. How do I book a Green Deal Assessment?
Answer: 

If you are in the Birmingham City Council area, call Birmingham Energy Savers free on 0800 917 5772, email us on BirminghamEnergySavers@carillionplc.com or complete the form on this link and we will organise an assessment for your property.

Our case workers will ask you a few qualifying questions to help us confirm your eligibility for Green Deal. Social housing tenants are not eligible. 

A qualified Green Deal Assessor will come to your home at an agreed time, ask you about your use of energy, look around your house, and recommend what improvements to install. 

Top


Question:10. How long does a Green Deal Assessment take? What happens next?
Answer: 

Approximately two hours, depending on how big your house is and how easy access (e.g. to the loft) is.

After your assessment, your Assessor will discuss their findings with you and later post you a Green Deal Advice Report which explains what you can install and how it can be funded.

Top


Question:11. Green Deal Assessment: What happens? What do I need to do?
Answer: 

Once you have booked your assessment, your Assessor will arrive at an agreed time. The assessment takes about 2 hours depending on the size of your house, how easy it is to access your loft, etc.  The Assessor will need access to your loft and boiler.  They will take photographs to add to their report.  This information is stored securely - for up to 7 years, so that you don't need another Green Deal Assessment if you don't decide to go ahead right away

The Assessor will ask you questions to find out about how you use energy and how much energy you use. What suits you may not suit the house next door, because their circumstances and their use of energy may be different - e.g. you may live alone and take showers, while they may have 4 children who take baths. 

They will ask to see your energy bills, and if you think you may be eligible for an ECO grant, evidence of your qualifying benefits.  They'll ask if you have an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate), a Display Energy Certificate and Air Conditioning Certificate.  Don't worry if you haven't.

After your Assessment, your assessor discusses their findings with you and later we send you a Green Deal Advice Report (GDAR), which sets out what energy improvements you could have and what savings they are likely to make. 

You do not need to install all the improvements suggested.  You can get competitive quotes. You do not need to take out a Green Deal loan - you can fund all or part of it yourself or through another loan.

If you decide to go ahead, we may need to do some more detailed surveys.

We will create a Green Deal Plan, which is more detailed and tells you the cost of everything including your Green Deal Loan.  Once you have signed that, we schedule the improvements.  When they are all installed, you begin to repay your Green Deal Loan through your electricity bill.  

You receive a new Energy Performance Certificate - and a warmer home.

Top


Question:12. How do I distinguish between BES and bogus installers, assessors and callers?
Answer: 

Carillion Energy Services installers and assessors are security checked, have identity cards and never come unannounced. See our comprehensive security and data protection policy here.

Top


Question:13. What is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?
Answer: 

After your Green Deal Assessment your Green Deal Advice Report gives you an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) which shows how much energy you use and how much you could save.  All homes, bought, sold or rented require an EPC. 

You receive another EPC once you have installed all your Green Deal measures, so you can see how you have made your home more energy-efficient.

Top


Question:14. What is a Green Deal Advice Report? (GDAR)?
Answer: 

After your Green Deal Assessment, you will receive a Green Deal Advice Report (GDAR) which indicates what energy improvements you can make.   This is normally sent by post.

If you are a householder, the Green Deal Advice Report gives you an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and an "occupancy assessment" (i.e. how many people in the house and their pattern of energy usage).  

If you are a business, the report gives you a 'Simplified Building Energy Model' (SBEM) which leads to a non-domestic buildings EPC or Green Deal Assessment.

You do not need to install all the improvements suggested.  You can get competitive quotes.  If you are a tenant, you need written permission from your landlord before installing energy improvements.

If you decide to go ahead, we may need to do some more detailed surveys and we will create a Green Deal Plan.

Top


Question:15. What is a Green Deal Plan?
Answer: 

The Green Deal Plan follows on from the Green Deal Advice Report (GDAR). It is a contract between Carillion (the Green Deal Provider) and the bill payer (you) which tells you the financial terms of the agreement, i.e. the cost of everything and the payback period.   

Once you have signed that, we can help you to apply for a Green Deal Loan - if you want one - and schedule the improvements.  You do not need to take out a Green Deal Loan: you can fund all or part of it yourself or through another loan.

Once you have signed and returned the plan, we schedule the improvements.  You pay nothing until it's all done.  When the improvements are all completed, your Green Deal begins.

Top


Question:16. Does a Green Deal loan need a credit check?
Answer: 

Like any other loan, the Green Deal loan requires a credit check.

However, the government has declared its intention to grant at least 80% of loans, so it should be easier to gain a Green Deal loan than other unsecured loans. Uniquely, the Green Deal loan is attached to the property rather than the person: it is owned by whoever pays the electricity bill at that property.

Top


Question:17. What energy-saving measures can be funded through Green Deal?
Answer: 

 The following measures could be funded through Green Deal if they were appropriate for your property.

  1. Air source heat pumps
  2. Biomass boilers
  3. Biomass room heaters (including with radiators)
  4. Cavity wall insulation
  5. Cylinder thermostats
  6. Draught proofing
  7. Duct insulation
  8. Hot water showers (efficient)
  9. Hot water systems (efficient)
  10. Hot water taps (efficient)
  11. External wall insulation systems
  12. Fan-assisted replacement storage heaters
  13. Flue gas heat recovery devices
  14. Ground source heat pumps
  15. Heating controls (for wet central heating system and warm air system)
  16. Heating ventilation and airconditioning controls (including zoning controls)
  17. High performance external doors
  18. Hot water controls (including timers and temperature control)
  19. Hot water cylinder insulation
  20. Internal wall insulation 
  21. External wall insulation systems
  22. Lighting systems, fittings and controls (including rooflights, lamps and luminaires)
  23. Loft or rafter insulation (including loft hatch insulation)
  24. Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery
  25. Micro combined heat and power
  26. Micro wind generation
  27. Pipe-work insulation Y (external pipework only)
  28. Photovoltaics
  29. Chillers
  30. Gas-fired condensing boilers
  31. Replacement glazing
  32. Oil-fired condensing boilers
  33. Warm-air units
  34. Radiant heating
  35. Roof insulation
  36. Room in roof insulation
  37. Sealing improvements (including duct sealing)
  38. Secondary glazing
  39. Solar water heating
  40. Solar blinds, shutters and shading devices
  41. Transpired solar collectors
  42. Under-floor heating
  43. Under-floor insulation
  44. Variable speed drives for fans and pumps
  45. Waste water heat recovery devices attached to showers
  46. Water source heat pumps
Top


Question:18. What measures will save me the most money?
Answer: 

The Energy Saving Trust has estimated how much energy you could save if you installed certain measures. They based their estimates on a "standard" gas-heated UK 3 bedroom semi-detached house, with energy at a certain price, so the figures are just indicative.

1. Internal and external solid-wall insulation could save up to £490/year

2. Replacing your boiler with a new efficient one could save £310/year

3. Loft insulation could save £180/year

4. Cavity wall insulation could save £140/year

5. Draughtproofing could save £55/year: some figures indicate that 30% of the heat lost from homes is due to draughts.

You could also consider generating your own energy through ground or air source heat pumps, solar PV or wind.

Top


Question:19. How long does a Green Deal loan last?
Answer: 

Depending on what measures you install, Green Deal loans can be for up to 25 years

Top


Question:20. Green Deal: what happens if I move house?
Answer: 

The Green Deal is attached to the property, not you, so if you move house, the new owners or tenants take it over, in the same way that they take over payment of all the other bills.  

They continue to benefit from the energy-saving improvements and their bills should be less than they would have been if you hadn't had any improvements. 

You could take out another Green Deal Plan in your new home.

Top


Question:21. What is the Renewable Heat Premium or Incentive?
Answer: 


The Renewable Heat Premium Payment (or Incentive) is a government scheme that gives people grants to help with the cost of installing technology that generate heat from renewable sources.  It is a grant for about 10% of the cost of buying and installing:

  • ground source heat pumps,
  • air source heat pumps,
  • biomass boilers,
  • solar water heating.

To qualify you must:

  • live in England, Wales or Scotland;
  • your home must not be heated by mains gas (unless you are applying for solar water heating);
  • have already taken basic energy efficiency measures (this means you must have loft insulation to a depth of 250mm and cavity wall insulation, where these measures are practical).

Landlords can also apply for the grants to improve their rental properties.

Top


Question:22. What is the Green Deal cashback scheme?
Answer: 

The Green Deal Cashback Scheme is a first-come, first-served offer where householders in England and Wales can claim Cashback from Government on energy saving improvements like insulation, front doors, windows and boilers. Packages could be worth over £1000 - the more you do, the more you get.

The current Cashback payment rates are guaranteed until the first £40m has been spent. Government have started with a generous offer to create early interest. These levels are likely to reduce as the Scheme progresses, so that as many people as possible can benefit from available funds. You are guaranteed the Cashback payment rates at the rates offered at the point when you apply.

Vouchers for Cashback will be valid for a set period which will be specified on the voucher. This is the period within which the Customer is expected to install energy saving improvements to be eligible for cash-back. The validity period of the voucher is 3 months for all measures, except solid wall insulation, for which the validity period is 6 months. Where solid wall is claimed in a package with other measures, the voucher for the package will be valid for 6 months. Irrespective of validity periods, all vouchers will need to be redeemed by the end of March 2014 at the latest.

This scheme is open for domestic properties in England and Wales only. It is intended to work alongside the Green Deal and therefore is open to customers that have had a Green Deal Assessment after October 2012 and have accepted a quote from a Green Deal Provider. The Cashback will be paid to whoever pays for the installation work to take place or whoever signs up to the Green Deal Plan, if using Green Deal Finance.  Therefore, it could be paid to homeowners, landlords or tenants, depending on who is paying the cost of the installation. You are free to choose whether to pay the installation costs through Green Deal Finance or through other payment methods (such as savings).

  • If you're a tenant in a privately rented property, you will be eligible to apply for Cashback provided you're going to pay for all or the majority of the costs of installing measures, either upfront, or using a Green Deal Plan.  If your landlord is paying most or all of the installation costs then you will not be able to apply.
  • If you're a landlord you will be able to apply for Cashback if you are paying for all or the majority of the costs of installing measures - either upfront or through a Green Deal Plan. However, under State Aid rules you will need to ensure that you will not receive more than 200,000 euros within the last 3 financial years.

For more detailed information, see https://gdcashback.decc.gov.uk/Home/Faq

Top


Question:23. What is CSCO?
Answer: 

Carbon Saving Community Obligation (CSCO)  is paart of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme.

It funds insulation & connections to district heating systems for low income & rural area.

 

Top


Question:24. What is Affordable Warmth or HHCRO?
Answer: 

The Affordable Warmth or Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation (HHCRO) fund is part of the ECO (Energy Company Obligation) fund.

It helps to pay for repair and replacement of boilers and installation of insulation for people on certain benefits, to reduce the overall cost of space heating. 

It replaced the old "Warm Front" fund.

See "Am I eligible for ECO Affordable Warmth funds?"

Top


Question:25. Am I eligible for ECO Affordable Warmth (HHCRO)?
Answer: 

 The Affordable Warmth or HHCRO scheme is part of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) fund.

 It funds insulation and repairs and replacements to heating systems, including new boilers.

The Affordable Warmth Obligation(also known as the Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation, HHCRO) for repair and replacement of boilers, and installation of insulation, for people on certain benefits, to reduce the overall cost of space heating.  It replaces the "Warm Front" fund.

Am I eligible?

ECO funds aim to help people who can't afford to install energy-saving measures, and people who have houses where it is particularly expensive to install energy-saving measures, e.g. some houses do not have cavity walls, and insulation for solid walls is expensive. You may be able to claim ECO funds if you live in a low-income area.

 Qualifying benefits  for Affordable Warmth (also called AW ECO or HHCRO)

 a. Child Tax Credit and an income of £15,860 or less

 b. Income-related employment and support allowance and receiving a work-related activity or support component; or  has parental responsibility for a qualifying child; or is in receipt of a qualifying component;

 c. Income-based job seeker's allowance and has parental responsibility for a qualifying child; or is in receipt of a qualifying component;

 d. Income support and has parental responsibility for a qualifying child; or is in receipt of a qualifying component;

 e. State pension credit;

 f. Working tax credit and has a relevant income of £15,860 or less and-has parental responsibility for a qualifying child; or is in receipt of a disabled worker element or severe disability element; or is aged 60 years or over.

 DEFINITIONS: 

a qualifying child is one that normally resides with the claimant and is under 16, or between 16 and 20 and in full-time education, excluding Higher Education (within the meaning of section 579 (1) of the Education Act 1996.)

qualifying component means: child tax credit which includes disability or severe disability element; a disabled child premium; a disability premium, enhanced disability premium or severe disability premium; or a pensioner premium, higher pensioner premium or enhanced pensioner premium.

 parental responsibility has the same meaning as in section 3 of the Children Act 1989

Top


Question:26. Does BES have any commitment to employment and training?
Answer: 

Yes. We have committed to ensuring that the BES programme will create opportunities for local people. 

This includes access to work placements, new jobs, apprenticeships and support to get into low carbon careers in the city. The BES programme will offer opportunities to work directly for Carillion Energy Services and our supply chain partners. See Careers Here

 


Top


Question:27. Where can I find out about jobs with Birmingham Energy Savers?
Answer: 

You can find out more about the opportunities which are currently available through:

Birmingham City Council Employment Action Team:
www.birmingham.gov.uk/eat-eoi

Carillion Plc Vacancies:
www.carillionplc.com/careers/search-for-vacancies.aspx

Jobcentre Plus Universal Jobmatch:
www.jobsearch.direct.gov.uk

Also see

Top


Question:28. How can I find out more about so-called ‘green’ skills?
Answer: 

The 'green economy' is growing and employers are increasingly looking for candidates to fill their vacancies who have at least some basic knowledge and understanding of the sector.

In addition, there are legal requirements and national competencies that practitioners are expected to demonstrate whether that be in the role of Green Deal Adviser or as one of the Installers of the wide variety of measures that are available through Green Deal.

Below are some of the institutions offering Green Training:

Asset Skills - Green Skills Alliance:
www.assetskills.org/GreenSkills

Summit Skills (including PAS2030):
www.summitskills.org.uk/renewables/Green-Skills/526

National Careers Service:
www.nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/aboutus/newsarticles/Pages/Greeneconomy.aspx

UK Green Building Council:
www.ukgbc.org/content/green-skills

Construction Training Centre
Website: http://www.construction-tc.co.uk
Contact number - 0845 2235010

Greenworks Training Academy
www.greenworks.co.uk And www.greenworks-gateway.co.uk
Contact number: (0121) 328 9150

Energy Training Hub
Website - www.energytraininghub.co.uk
Contact number - 0800 028 7420

Rikem
Website - www.rikem.co.uk

Top


Question:29. Is it possible to become a certified Green Deal business? How?
Answer: 

It is and more information is available on www.gov.uk/become-green-deal-business

Top