Agricultural Solicitors Suffolk – What is the green deal?

Andrew Nicholson Cropped

‘The Green Deal is the term given to a relatively recent Government initiative which aims to reduce carbon emissions and save on energy costs.  Its purpose is to encourage people to make energy saving measures to their home or business with no upfront cost to them.  The costs of adding an energy saving measure to a property are met by the installer in the first instance and the owner of the property should then enjoy cheaper energy bills.  Typical energy saving measures range from the installation of loft insulation or cavity wall insulation to the use of renewable energy technology such as solar panels or wind turbines.

Payment for the energy saving measures is the responsibility of the property owner.  Payment is normally made to the relevant energy supplier over time by way of the bills which are rendered for the Property.  The Green Deal payments are easily identifiable as they are shown separately on the invoice.

The Green Deal is based on a golden rule which specifies that the cost of the repayments must not exceed the estimated financial savings which will arise as a result of the energy saving measures having been installed.  Furthermore, the length of the repayment period should not exceed the lifetime of the improvements.

A particular problem which has been identified in formulating the above rule is that it makes use of standard assumptions and does not reflect the vagaries of energy usage which can apply in respect of a given property.  By way of example, the energy usage will clearly vary if a single person occupies a property as opposed to a family of five or six.

When a property which is subject to a Green Deal comes to be sold, it is necessary for the Seller to disclose the details of the Green Deal to the prospective Buyer.  The standard Property Information forms completed by conveyancers now include questions relating to Green Deals so a Seller should have no excuse for failing to disclose energy saving measures which have been taken at his or her property.

The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) will inform a Buyer of a property of the works which have been undertaken to that property, and will also indicate the level of any repayments which remain to be made in respect of the Green Deal.’ 

Andrew Nicholson is an agricultural solicitor at Barker Gotelee, solicitors in Suffolk

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