General Election 2017
The election news yesterday was very focused on the message about proposed energy price caps. In theory, price caps are designed to protect and keep consumer costs down. I’m sure that many of us will have heard much of this rhetoric before (and from more than one political party).
The energy providers themselves also stepped into the ring to share their own thoughts on price caps. Trade association Energy UK (a lobby group for the sector) pointed out that introducing a price cap “risks undermining so many of the positive changes we are seeing in the market which are delivering benefits for consumers”
Energy price caps and you.
We should step out of the ring for a moment and consider the bigger picture here. What can you and I do about increasing energy prices? What does it really mean for our own households?
- The energy companies (particularly the ‘Big Six’) have been telling us for a while about the rising cost of wholesale gas and electricity. We’ve been told to expect those increases to be reflected in our own bills. The advanced warning means time to prepare.
- Many of us are still not on a price tariff that best matches our energy consumption. Signing up to the best deal is possible. Use one of the many comparison websites out there to compare and check the different options available.
- There may be things we are doing at home that cause us to unintentionally consume more energy (both gas and electricity) than we realise. It’s time to take an energy audit of our own and start taking control.
- Sometimes, being energy aware isn’t enough. Old or inefficient boilers. Poor insulation. Badly fitting windows and doors. All these can lead to an uncomfortable (and expensive to run) home.
As I write this, the election is still just under four weeks away and decisions about energy price caps even more distant. Take positive steps now to improve energy efficiency at home. You should then see a reduction in your bills, whoever ends up at No. 10.
Find out how we could help you to improve the energy efficiency in your home and reduce your bills (price cap or no price cap). Pop your details on the form and one of our team will be in touch.
The Green Deal energy efficiency scheme explained
What is the Green Deal?
The Green Deal energy efficiency scheme provides you with the funding to for home improvements that you might not be able to afford otherwise. It can potentially fund the installation of a large number of energy efficiency measures in your home.
Your home improvements would be financed through a Green Deal loan. It is especially relevant to remember that the loan is to your property – not you as the owner. The loan repayments will therefore be made via your electricity bills.
Wasn’t there a Green Deal energy efficiency scheme that closed down?
The UK Government launched the Green Deal on 1st October 2012. Their aim was to offer energy saving measures across homes and offices in the country. The government stopped funding the scheme in July 2015 due to a change of government after the election. The Green Deal is now running again after a private investment company bought The Green Deal finance company. Read their press statement here.
Why should I make improvements to my home?
Green Deal can be particularly attractive if you are a homeowner or landlord with a property that has scored less than the minimum target energy rating of E. Improving the energy rating of your home will therefore make it easier to keep warm and comfortable. You are also likely to see a reduction in your energy bills and in addition, carbon emissions will reduce.
Landlords can use the Green Deal scheme to make sure that rented properties are MEES compliant in time for the April 1st 2018 deadline. Read more
Will you automatically approve me?
The Green Deal does not apply to every property so there is no automatic approval. You will need to book an assessment to determine the eligibility of your home. There are a number of eligibility rules. The ‘golden rule’ states that the energy savings you make must always be greater than or equal to any repayments.
Is it a difficult process?
Eco-energi have done as much as possible to make sure the process is easy for you:
- Book your Green Deal Assessment: First of all an Assessor will visit your property and check its energy efficiency. You then receive an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) showing it’s current grading as well as a Green Deal Advice Report (GDAR). The GDAR will recommend which energy saving measures you could implement.
- Receive a Quotation: The team at Eco-energi will then provide you with a Green Deal quote for any recommended work.
- Installation: Finally, we will arrange for an approved installer to complete the work.
What measures could I install under the Green Deal?
- New or replacement boiler (condensing, biomass)
- Solid Wall (internal & external)/ Loft/ Floor Insulation
- Cavity Wall Insulation
- Heating/ Hot Water/ Lighting Controls
- Heating System Insulation
- Ground and air source heat pumps
- Fan assisted storage heaters
- Flue gas recovery devices
- Innovative hot water systems
- Draught proofing
Energy saving ideas from Eco-energi.
Energy saving ideas from Eco-energi will help you start saving household energy right now. Not only is this good for your bank balance but you will be helping the environment too.
Could you be saving more?
Everyday energy saving measures – quick wins.
There are a huge range of energy saving measures that you can put in place in the longer term (and we will be more than happy to talk you through them). However, team members at Eco-energi also believe in ‘quick wins’. Here are some simple energy saving tips used by the team in their own homes that you can try today.
Start saving energy today*
Spend less time in the shower.
Just one minute less in the shower could save up to £8 per person every year. If you have a water efficient shower head fitted this saving increases further.
Turn the lights off.
Turn off the lights even if you only leave the room for a minute or two. (You will still save more than it costs to turn the light back on again).
Get to grips with your heating controls.
Put your heating and hot water onto a timer setting so that they are only on when you need them and only heat the rooms that you are using. If you have thermostastic radiator valves or room thermostats you can control individual room temperatures. You can save up to £188 per year this way.
Changing from halogen to LED lightbulbs will save you a potential £35 each year (although there will be an initial cost when replacing the bulbs).
Quick cup of tea?
Fill the kettle with only as much water as you need for your tea or coffee. The kettle will boil more quickly and save you about £7 each year. Even better, if you use a bowl for the washing up rather than filling the sink you could save a surprising £30 each year.
If you have more quick fix energy saving ideas, call or email the team at Eco-energi today. Talk to us and let us know which energy efficiency measures keep your household bills under control:
email email@example.com or call today on 01344 876672
*all saving illustrations given are estimates.
New Green Deal is an affordable solution to 2018 compliance
“The New Green Deal has landed and is in rude health. It could be the answer to many landlords’ prayers. Especially if they still need to upgrade their properties to comply with the government’s Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) legislation”
By John Davidson, Managing Director, Eco-energi
April 2018 Compliance
From April 2018, landlords will be effectively banned from renting out properties with an Energy Performance Rating of F or G. The cost of updating your properties to improve your rating can now be financed through the New Green Deal (GD). There is little upfront cost and it is currently one of the easiest ways of spreading payments over an agreed period. The rate is also highly competitive.
You may not have heard of the Green Deal, but don’t worry, you are not alone. It was an inspired finance scheme launched by the government in 2013. It was implemented to help homeowners thermally upgrade their properties. Homeowners were able to apply for a GD loan through the Green Deal Finance Company (GDFC). This allowed homeowners to cover the total cost of the work and repay it through their electricity bill.
It came with a golden rule: “the expected financial savings would be equal to or greater than the costs attached to the energy bill”.
Demise of the original Green Deal
The original Green Deal also allowed landlords to upgrade the energy efficiency of their properties cost-effectively. Unfortunately, in July 2015, the government withdrew the funding and the Green Deal was dead.
Why? Wasn’t it working?
Well, yes and no. Initial uptake was slow due to poor marketing and a disorganised Green Deal infrastructure. As the glitches were being removed, and the demand began growing steadily the plug was pulled.
Back on track
Now, thanks to two private investment companies, Greenstone Finance and Aurium Capital Markets, the Green Deal is back. They acquired the GDFC’s business, its assets and existing loan book in January 2017. They have a substantial nine-figure sum ready to finance more thermal improvements.
If 2018 compliance is on your list, you’ll need to contact a Green Deal Provider, like Eco-energi, to access the funding and start the process.
It’s simple and involves four steps:
1. We will arrange for a Green Deal assessor to visit your property(ies) and assess its individual energy-efficiency needs. The MEES legislation will be taken into account during the assessment process.
2. A report is written by the assessor. This recommends the energy-saving measures appropriate for your property. It also identifies measures that can be financed through the Green Deal.
3. Eco-energi will provide a Green Deal Plan covering the estimated savings and expected energy performance rating. Also a quotation for the work.
4. We will arrange and manage the installation(s) by appointing a Green Deal Installer to undertake the work. A condition of the Green Deal code of Practice is that only an authorised Green Deal Installer can undertake these works.
UK energy efficiency legislation is a hot topic right now. As the deadline for MEES legislation approaches it is getting more important. The Eco-energi team are running seminars for you – local property professionals – who want to be kept in the loop.
Register here for our Free seminar: Tuesday 11th April 2017
Are you a property manager or agent? Please come to our ‘UK Energy Efficiency legislation: Domestic Sector’ seminar on Tuesday 11th April 2017.
This is an invite-only event. Calling all property managers or agents in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (and surrounding areas). You will receive a CPD training certificate for attending this short course.
- EPC legislation and updates for rented properties
- MEES legislation and how it will affect your residential landlords
- Green Deal 2017 relaunch: Specifics and means to MEES compliance
Please RSVP or use our easy eventbrite booking page to confirm your attendance.
Cost: FREE for agents and property managers in Royal Borough of Windsor & surrounding areas (worth £150)
Date: Tuesday, 11th April 2017 (reception 9:30am)
Venue: The Runnymede on Thames Hotel, Windsor Rd, Egham TW20 0AG
Duration: 3 hours
This seminar is an initiative by Eco-energi. You will learn about current & future Energy efficiency regulations in the UK.
Our 30 day energy awareness campaign has launched on Facebook and Twitter. Day 1 and 2 started off with two simple reminders about thermostat settings and keeping air con filters cleaned for maximum efficiency. The facts for day 3, 4, 5, and 6 all relate to something that we all have in our homes – the humble lightbulb!
10 days = 10 energy facts
If you don’t have access to facebook or twitter then you can check back on the website for previews and updates.
Here is energy fact Number 1 for you. Lower your Thermostat by as little as 1 degree and save as much as 10% a year on heating costs.
Did you know?
Cleaning your Air Conditioner filter regularly can lower its energy consumption by up to 15%
Day 3 of our Energy Awareness campaign. The energy fact today is about the benefits of LED lighting. LED Light Bulbs use less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescent lighting. Read more about the virtues of LED bulbs here.
Save energy and money by following our 30 tips & tricks on saving #energy. Challenge your family and friends to take part in this energy-saving initiative.
Day 4. Did you know that 90% of the energy used by traditional incandescent bulb is given off as heat?
You may have already started saving energy – Day 5 of our Energy Awareness campaign. If you switched to fluorescent light bulbs, you will use 25%-35% less energy already. Fluorescent bulbs also last 10 times longer than incandescent lighting.
Green Deal returns!
Enjoy our short video to find out how the Green Deal will benefit you.
Consumers to face increased energy bills in 2017.
Wholesale gas and electricity prices are rising steadily (and have been since the middle of 2016). Some media channels suggest that Brexit and a weak pound could be partly to blame for these increases. Whatever the reason, it is now certain that consumers will feel the impact of the price rises as early as March 2017.
Wholesale gas prices up by 44%
Energy switching company Energyhelpline have confirmed that ‘Wholesale prices have been rising rapidly, with gas prices up 44% since March and electricity up 59%. This cuts into supplier profits, and suppliers are likely to pass this on to customers’.
Take action now to combat any price rises.
John Davidson at Eco-energi reminds us that there are practical measures that can be put in place to reduce the impact of any price increases. Firstly, homeowners and bill payers should make sure the energy tariff that they are on suits household requirements. There are a variety of tariffs available and it is important to determine which one will give you best value for money. For example, some households will benefit from a low rate fixed tariff. Websites such as uSwitch and energyhelpline offer practical advice on how to do this.
Secondly, ‘as householders you can be proactive. Take advantage of the latest energy efficiency measures that are available. The more energy efficient your home is, the less energy is needed to keep your home running smoothly. You will have improved efficiency and ensure that gas and electricity bills are kept to a minimum. This is a great long term solution and will have a lasting impact on both the comfort and efficiency of your home and your future energy bills’.
Call or email the team at Eco-energi today. Talk to us and find out how energy efficiency measures could keep your household bills under control: visit www.eco-energi.com or call us on 01344 876672
As Green Deal Providers we are excited to share with you the GDFC’s Press Release:
Greenstone Finance and Aurium Capital Markets acquire the Green Deal Finance Company (GDFC)
LONDON, 13 January 2017: Greenstone Finance and Aurium Capital Markets (“Aurium”) have today announced the acquisition of the business and assets of the Green Deal Finance Company [GDFC], as well as its existing loan book with a principal value in excess of £40m; the acquisition is being supported by Honeycomb Investment Trust (“HIT”) which is managed by Pollen Street Capital.
Greenstone Finance, which invests in organisations focused on financing in renewable energy and energy efficiency, and Aurium, a structured finance boutique with a focus on renewable energy, have acquired GDFC Services and its subsidiaries with immediate effect; the new ownership will continue to service the existing Green Deal loans and will commence financing of new Green Deal loans in Q1, 2017.
First launched by the Government in 2013, the Green Deal was established to address the fact that the UK has some of the most thermally inefficient housing in Europe. Green Deal loans provide customers with accessible financing to improve their homes by installing energy efficiency products. In particular, Green Deal financing has the potential to help:
• those who face the heavy costs of needing to install a new boiler or other essential measures but who can’t afford to pay the upfront costs of doing so;
• those who want to increase the value of their homes through installing renewable energy or energy efficiency measures;
• landlords requested by tenants to install energy efficiency improvements or, as of April 2018, landlords who own properties that fall below the new minimum energy efficiency (EPC) rating of E;
Green Deal loans not only offer competitive interest rates, but are more easily managed as loans are repaid as part of a customer’s energy bill, which will normally be reduced by the energy savings generated from the measure the loan has financed – a “Pay-As-You-Save” scheme. Furthermore, the loan remains with the property and is paid by the energy bill payer in regular instalments – ensuring the payments are made by the person who benefits from the energy saving.
Minister for Energy and Industry, Jesse Norman, said:
“People living in more energy efficient homes can have lower bills and warmer homes, while producing fewer carbon emissions, which is why the Government has committed to improving the insulation of more than one million homes over this Parliament. This deal will help us to reach that goal.”
Kilian Pender, Founder and CEO of Greenstone Finance, said,
“We believe that the concept of repaying your loan as you save on your energy bills is an excellent one and with the significant private investment that we have secured, we’re looking forward to rolling the Green Deal finance scheme out across the country. We will provide homeowners a cost effective way to improve their homes and quality of life.”
Nimesh Kamath, Partner at Aurium, said,
“This joint venture with Greenstone Finance adds to Aurium’s continued commitment to the UK renewable energy sector and, in particular, the objective of improving the energy efficiency of UK buildings for consumers and business owners alike, whilst supporting the wider goals of distributed energy generation and energy security in the UK.”