Home energy assessments worth up to £175 are available free to householders in the Mendip area, thanks to an initiative called Our Green Deal in Somerset run on behalf of seven local authorities in the county by the Centre for Sustainable Energy and funded by the Department of Energy and Climate Change.
It’s part of getting Somerset involved in the Green Deal, a national scheme launched recently by the Government which supports householders to improve the energy efficiency of their home and pay the costs back later through the savings on your energy bill.
Green Deal measures include home-improvements such as
- wall insulation
- a new boiler or better heating controls
- secondary glazing
Repayments are made through the householder’s energy bills, and because the home improvements will cut energy use, the overall energy bills won’t rise.
Cllr Nigel Woollcombe-Adams, portfolio holder for Built Environment at Mendip District Council said, “This is a wonderful opportunity for householders and Mendip residents. In this time of austerity any money saving measures should be looked into and this is a great way to make your property more energy efficient at little or no extra cost. Over a longer period you will end up saving money on lower household bills.
“I believe the Green Deal is something that homeowners should look into more closely as it will not only make their property more energy efficient but also help the environment.”
Step one in accessing Green Deal finance is for an authorised Green Deal Assessor to visit the home. An assessment like this usually costs around £175, but Our Green Deal in Somerset has more than 800 home energy assessments to give away.
But people need to be quick, the offer ends on 15 March 2013.
The assessment will show which energy efficiency improvements would work best for that particular home, and which improvements could be funded through the Green Deal. The assessment is independent and without obligation so the householder can choose whether to undertake any of the recommended improvements.
Householders in Somerset who want to know more should contact CSE’s Home Energy Team on freephone 0800 082 2234 or by email at [email protected]
CSE’s James Ryle said “The Green Deal has a lot to offer, particularly in Somerset which has a lot of ‘hard-to-treat’ and solid walled homes, where residents are being hit by high fuel bills and the insulation measures they need haven’t been covered by previous schemes. This initiative will help to get the Green Deal rolling in Somerset – and help people understand what they can do in their home to make it easier to keep warm.”
Private tenants can still take advantage of this offer but need to get their landlord’s permission first.
But Our Green Deal in Somerset won’t just be providing free assessments, and two other innovations are in the pipeline.
The first is a programme of involving local community groups, who will help to explain the Green Deal to people in their area, earning rewards for the groups when they refer people to the scheme. Details will be available shortly.
The second is a website – www.ourgreendeal.net – that will map the homes that have been improved and present the energy efficiency refurbishment of houses as ‘everyday’ and ‘doable’, and allow users to find accredited and reliable local tradespeople and further advice and information.