It’s been a lovely summer for the best part throughout the UK, and if the MET office is to be believed, it may continue for a few weeks yet. However, the fact is, autumn is on its way and sooner or later temperatures are going to start to drop.
The good news is there are schemes which can help save money on your energy bills, while increasing the value to the property. Even better, there is often funding available, so you won’t have to take out a second mortgage (or loan if you rent) to afford them.
The Green Deal
The Green Deal scheme has recently been implemented by the government in a bid to encourage home owners, landlords and tenants to take steps to make their property more energy efficient.
It’s quite straightforward really. If you feel that your property could benefit from insulation, you speak with a Green Deal assessor who will inspect your property and inform of you if/what improvements can be made.
Improvements can range from loft insulation to new windows. However, as you might expect, there is criteria the improvements would have to meet. For example, you can change a new set of quality double glazing windows if they don’t need replacing.
How much do you have to pay?
This will depend on the savings your property is expected to make on energy bills. With regards to payments, money is taken directly off your energy bills rather than you paying directly. This is so the savings stay within the property.
If you are considering taking advantage of the Green Deal, then there’s no time like the present. The Deal began around the beginning of the year and there is essentially a pot of £40 million that has been made available by the government. When that pot is empty, the deal may or may not be available and if it is, it may not be as appealing as the current offer.
There are some real concerns about the scheme, however (why does life have to be this complicated?) – mainly around what happens to the debt incurred for the improvements funded by the Green Deal if you sell the home. As a result, current take up has been very slow.
If you are considering the Green Deal, the first step is to contact a registered assessor who can tell you whether your home is eligible. If it is, then hopefully you will be in time to take advantage before the deal ends.
The Affordable Warmth Scheme
Depending on your situation, the Affordable Warmth Scheme may be suitable for your property. Like the Green Deal, the idea is that you have improvements ranging from a new boiler to loft insulation, which should in turn bring your energy costs down.
Unlike the Green Deal, this scheme is free and ideal for those who simply can’t afford to have to pay out for what are often, essential improvements. However, as well as the condition of the property having to meet certain requirements, the scheme is only available to those who are in receipt of certain benefits, ranging from tax credits to job seekers allowance.
As well as the two schemes mentioned above there are other ways to receive assistance with your energy bills such as the warm front discount scheme which can give you £135 towards the costs of your energy bills. If your home is often cold in the winter and you’re struggling to meet the rising energy costs, it’s a very good idea to look into the options available, as no one should be cold in their own home.
For homeowners and landlords alike, the scheme can boost the value of your property while saving on energy and reducing your overall carbon footprint. Plus, it gives you the opportunity to enjoy cheaper bills in the future.