Upfront fees on green deal could discourage homeowners 7th January, 2013 Nick Boyle
MPs and consumer groups have warned that upfront cost of up to £150 could discourage homeowners from improving the energy efficiency of their homes under the government’s Green Deal scheme.
The scheme, which will launch this month, allows homeowners to apply for a loan with companies who complete work such as installing loft installation and replacing old boilers – with repayments being made through a small levy on their energy bills.
Greg Barker, the Climate Minister, said the scheme would “become the most ambitious home improvement programme since the second world war.”
The upfront cost, as the Guardian has found, comes in the form of an assessment fee from companies listed as ‘domestic assessors’ for the scheme. It isn’t clear whether all firms will charge for an assessment, but five of those the Guardian spoke to plan to charge between £95 and £150.
Director of energy at Consumer Focus, Audrey Gallacher, commented: “You could argue finance with interest rates attached and an upfront fee for the survey may put some people off this scheme, even though it would save money in the long term.”