The government’s newly imposed Green Deal has been making a splash in recent headlines. The idea behind the initiative is to make energy-saving improvements to your business (or home) without having to pay all the costs up front – with the ultimate goal of reducing carbon emissions on a nationwide scale.
Here’s the question: how can you, as the owner of a commercial property, benefit from the Green Deal?
The scheme aims to help you save money and improve your environmental performance by fronting the costs of building improvements that will enhance the energy-saving features of your property. Businesses are being encouraged to use the Green Deal as a way to invest in Green Technologies to help them save money in the longer term – it’s an initiative particularly relevant to businesses that are looking to make large scale improvements, as there is no ‘upper cap’ in what companies can apply for through the Green Deal.
So, in a nutshell: loan the money (rather than save for years and rack up energy costs while you do it), make energy-saving improvements to your property, pay the money back (with possible cashback incentive) but save in the long run.
Some of the energy efficiency improvements that qualify for Green Deal finance are:
- Insulation – e.g. loft or cavity wall insulation
- Double glazing
- Renewable energy technologies – e.g. solar panels or wind turbines
Here’s how to start the process:
- Get an assessment of your property to see what improvements can be made and how much you could save on your energy bills.
- Use the assessment to apply for the Cashback scheme if your business qualifies.
- Choose a Green Deal provider to carry out the work. You discuss with them what work you want done and whether the Green Deal is right for your commercial venture.
- If you go ahead with the improvements you must sign your Green Deal Plan – this is a contract between you and the provider stating what work will be done and how much it will cost. The provider will then arrange for a Green Deal installer to do the work.
- Once the work is done, you’ll pay off the costs will be repaid through the energy bill related to the property.
And an fyi: the Green Deal operates according to a golden rule, which says that “The expected financial savings must be equal to or greater than the costs attached to the energy bill.” There is other fine print, which can be read up on greendealinitiative.co.uk.
To find out if the Green Deal is something that might be beneficial to your business in terms of cutting energy costs, download (and read) “Which Energy Improvements Qualify For Green Deal Finance?”, compiled by the Department of Energy & Climate Change.