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On 28 January, the Government will launch the Green Deal – a revolutionary initiative that means homeowners can reduce their bills by making energy efficient improvements, at no upfront cost. Paul Reeve, Head of Policy and Practice at the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA), answers the most common questions surrounding the Green Deal.

What is the Green Deal?
Basically, it is a new type of loan, which aims to make sure that you, the customer, is better off thanks to lower energy bills. Under the Green Deal, a ‘Green Deal Provider’ loans you the up-front costs for you to make energy saving home improvements. Then, over a set period of time – say 15-20 years – you pay the loan back through your regular electricity bill. Your combined regular repayments and reduced bills should be less than your previous energy bill, thanks to the energy savings you will make from having the Green Deal measures installed in your home. This is known as the Green Deal ‘Golden Rule’: it means that, over time, you should benefit financially from lower energy bills, without having to find the money upfront to get the energy saving measures installed. If energy costs continue to rise in the years ahead, you will see even bigger savings from your installed energy saving measures.

If you move home, the new property owners will then repay the rest of the Green Deal loan through their electricity bills, but they will also be enjoying the savings from having an energy efficient home.

Which home improvements are covered by the scheme?
Dozens of energy saving measures are included in the Green Deal. Active measures, such as lighting, reduce the amount of energy you use, whereas passive measures, such as insulation, prevent heat from being wasted. Examples include:

Active Measures
• New high-efficiency condensing boilers
• Energy-efficient lighting, such as LEDs
• Solar panels, which enable you to produce your own green energy or even a wind turbine

Passive Measures
• Loft insulation
• Internal and external wall insulation
• Super energy-efficient windows

The cost of passive measures and active measures can vary considerably, but many active measures give energy savings which recover this cost more quickly than higher-cost passive measures, such as new windows. Electricians are experts in energy use and can provide guidance which will help you save energy. You can get find a quality local electrician through the ECA’s website – www.eca.co.uk.

How do we get involved with the Green Deal?
If you are interested in finding out more about The Green Deal, you can follow these simple steps:

1. Find a ‘Green Deal Approved’ energy Assessor. The Assessor will visit your property, assess your home energy usage and make energy saving recommendations. The Assessor will then give you a report detailing the energy saving measures that meet the Green Deal requirements. To find a Green Deal Approved Assessor visit www.gov.uk/greendeal or call 0300 123 1234.
2. You can take the Assessor’s report to your selected ‘Green Deal Provider’. They will produce a ‘Green Deal Plan’ which includes the costs of installing the various measures, and how much the repayments will be for your chosen energy saving installations. The Green Deal Provider will then organise the work and the finance arrangements.

3. After the measures are installed, you can start to enjoy the energy savings and make regular loan repayments for the work, through your electricity bill. Your monthly energy savings should exceed the added loan repayments.

Remember, any electrical measures should be installed by a competent electrician, who can ensure both the safety and energy performance of electrical installations in your home. Electrical work carried out by an ECA Green Deal Installer is covered by the ECA’s ‘Guarantee of Work’.

-ENDS-

For media enquiries, contact James Boley / Stuart McBride / Tricia Defty at Thinc Public Relations on 0207 801 6255 or email james@thincpr.com / stuart@thincpr.com / tricia@thincpr.com

About The Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA)
The ECA is the UK’s largest trade association representing electrical engineering and contracting companies. The electrical contracting industry employs 350,000 operatives and 6,000 apprentices. Our 3,000 members range from local electricians to national companies with several branches employing thousands. Our members carry out a range of work, from domestic heating and lighting to cutting edge temperature control technology. Several hundred ECA members also install domestic microgeneration.

All Registered ECA members are covered by the ECA Guarantee of Work (www.eca.co.uk) and are listed on the national Electrical Safety Register (www.electricalsafetyregister.com).

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