What's the deal with the Government's Green Deal Scheme?
Richard Brown, from our Louth office, takes a look at what the Green Deal Scheme means for house buyers and sellers.
I am often asked about the Green Deal Scheme and its implications for buyers and sellers of properties that are covered by the scheme. The scheme came into effect on the 28 January 2013 and enables property owners to make energy efficient improvements without up from payments. Examples of improvements include: cavity wall insulation, solar panels, boilers, hot water systems and double glazing.
The Green Deal Scheme enables owners to improve their property to make it more energy efficient and cheaper to run. The owner has to obtain a quote from a recognized Green Deal Provider, and if the property owner wishes to proceed with the work, the provider will organise installation by an authorised installer.
These improvements are then paid for through the owner’s utility bill over a period of time under a Green Deal Plan, which is a contract between the home-owner and the Green Deal Provider. The amount payable for the works should not exceed the projected savings to the property’s energy bills. The bill will come in two parts:
- One part will show the cost of the actual energy used.
- The other part will show the repayments due for the work.
If the owner moves, the Green Deal remains on the property and repayments passed the new owner.
An estate agent or private seller has a duty to disclose to the viewer of the property the fact that it is subject to a Green Deal plan. This is done by producing a full Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) which will have been updated with details of the work and the Green Deal finance utilised. If a Green Deal plan exists, the first page of the EPC will have a banner across the bottom saying that a Green Deal plan has paid to install energy efficient improvements at the property.
In the event that a buyer buys a property that is subject to a Green Deal and does not know about it, the debt may be left with the existing seller.
As with any property sale, it is best to make sure that your conveyancer checks these details for you.