Green DealThe new UK government policy for upgrading poor quality housing

Finance has been available since January 2013 in the UK for 45 energy saving measures for improving your property.

Loans are repaid through energy bills and are transferred with the property to new users – a novel concept in this country.

Homeowners repay the Green Deal charge on their monthly bill, even if the promised savings on their energy bills do not materialize, but the intention is that savings on energy bills will outweigh the cost of repayments.

This has been the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s policy since October 2012 and although interest rates are higher than average household loans, the aspiration is that the general public will join and help upgrade the quality of the country’s housing stock.

In terms of heating, ventilation and air conditioning, measures range from installation of equipment (boilers, gas recovery devices, ground and air source heat pumps) to complete systems (heat recovery, heating controls, mechanical ventilation and under-floor heating).

With building fabric, insulation and draught proofing are paramount (cavity walls, flat roofs, external and internal walling, floors and lofts) with the emphasis also on heating systems (cylinders and pipework).

With lighting, fittings and controls are considered; with water heating, innovative hot water systems and water efficient taps and showers are contemplated; with fenestration, energy efficient glazing and doors have been included.

Further measures have been confirmed to include roof lights, lamps and luminaires, radiant heating, solar blinds, shutters and shading devices as well as solar collectors, chillers, fans and pumps.

By Silvia Pelham

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