In an effort to urge UK homeowners to update their homes, the government has recently launched a new green initiative. The Green Deal Scheme UK covers only England and Wales, but this still includes many millions of homes.


A significant percentage of these homes were developed decades ago, many date back to the pre-world war era and are badly in need of renovation. Building materials, window glazing, and home appliances are often woefully out of date compared to today's green products and eco-friendly materials used in modern housing developments. UK homes are responsible for as much as 30 percent of carbon emissions within our shores presently. This level of emissions is driven by a collection of inappropriate materials used, shoddy home appliances and other issues which all contribute to an unsatisfactory level of carbon expelled into the atmosphere.


Worse than this though is the reality that the UK power stations themselves which run off coal, fossil fuels or nuclear power generation in order to produce the electricity our homes need. For the power that each home draws down, this has a direct correlation to the amount of pollutants pushed into the atmosphere as the power stations keep running to handle the growing demand.


Green Deal is an attempt by the government to do something about this continuing problem by offering a smorgasbord of green improvements in a green scheme for property owners.


The Setup


It all starts with a home owner contacting a Green Deal assessor who will come around the inspect the property to see how it might be made more energy efficient. The assessor looks at both the interior and exterior to consider what improvements might be made. Everything from renewable energy from wind turbines or solar power to new double glazing and draught proofing are considered. A report is produced with the assessor's conclusions as to how one might best upgrade the property, which is presented to the owner and their Green Deal provider.


The Green Deal provider takes care of the financial end of things with the provision of a loan agreement, but their organisation also creates a Green Deal Plan with all the approved green improvements, pricing, contractors and financing details.


Financing is usually at an interest rate of 7 percent or more, spread over many years. This helps to spread the cost, but also increases the total payable for the improvements. It is hoped that through the Golden Rule from Green Deal, which intends that green home improvements costs should not exceed the energy-reducing cost savings received over the same time-frame.


There is the option for home owners with means to fund the green improvements themselves, enjoy greater flexibility on what improvements they wish to undertake and how they wish to pay for them. However, it is not so easy to replicate the assessors, providers and installers that have been pre-approved within the Green Deal scheme in order to create your own arrangements. Perhaps this is the Green Deal scheme's strength..