Do I need a green deal assessment to get the green deal home improvement fund?
Posted by Tasha Kosviner on 21 July 2014 at 8:54 am
A. Here’s a funny thing – no you don’t!
Among the many confusing and overlapping features of the current government’s multiple energy saving finance schemes, is this strange anomaly: that while you do need a green deal assessment to access a green deal loan, you don’t need one to access the green deal home improvement fund (GDHIF).
All you need to get money from the green deal home improvement fund is to have the measures you are claiming for recommended on an energy performance certificate (EPC) from the last two years.
If the recommended measures qualify for help from the GDHIF then you simply use your EPC number to apply for a GDHIF voucher here. You have to use a green deal approved installer or provider to carry out the work - their quote is needed to apply for the voucher - you then fund the work yourself and redeem your voucher within six months.
So why get a green deal assessment?
First let’s be clear – an EPC makes up half of a green deal assessment anyway. A green deal assessment consists of the EPC which gives the general energy data for your type of home – plus an occupancy assessment which gives you specific data relating to how you and your family use your home. Arguably, the full assessment is more use than just the EPC, since it’s more tailored to your own energy usage, although questions around how accurate it is have dogged it since its inception.
Nonetheless, there are currently two government funding streams for energy saving/generation which, if you wish to access them, dictate that you have to undergo a green deal assessment:
Taking out a green deal loan
This is the much maligned scheme where you can take out a loan against your property to fund energy saving measures that are recommended on your green deal report. Once you have the green deal report in hand, you can take it to a green deal provider (or you can use a provider to organise the assessment on your behalf) who provide you with a finance plan and arrange for the work to be done. The report will only recommend measures for which the loan repayments are likely to be less than or equal to the amount you’re likely to save on your energy bills as a result.
Claiming renewable heat incentive (RHI) payments
If you have installed a renewable heat system such as a heat pump, solar thermal panels or a biomass boiler, and you wish to claim the renewable heat incentive, then you need to have a green deal assessment. This is because in order to qualify for RHI you have to have minimum levels of loft and cavity wall insulation (in addition to having an eligible system, of course) – and a green deal assessment was judged to be the easiest way of proving you have one. You can read my blog about getting a green deal assessment for RHI here.
If you’re generally interested in how you can save energy or produce energy or heat for your home, however, you may be better off with a more detailed, bespoke home energy survey. Read YouGen founder Cathy Debenham’s blog on her experience of these two different approaches.
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