Conveyancing Specialist Welcomes New DECC Statistics On Assessments
By Rob Dixon
New figures which show that more than 9,000 properties have already been assessed in relation to the government’s Green Deal initiative are a welcome sign that a growing number of homeowners and tenants are keen to take advantage of the scheme, according to conveyancing experts.
Launched at the end of January, the Green Deal was introduced to allow homes and businesses an opportunity to make energy-saving improvements without needing to pay all of the costs up front.
Statistics released by the Department of Energy & Climate Change have found that 9,268 assessments had been lodged by the end of March, with 7,465 being lodged in that month alone.
Following assessment, property owners are able to make decisions in relation to the different improvements they would like to take to their property – such as the introduction of insulation, draught proofing to even the installation of solar panels. Homeowners then enter into a Green Deal Plan which will outline the agreed repayment costs.
Irwin Mitchell’s Conveyancing team, which specialises in providing advice on all aspects of buying and selling property as well as schemes such as Green Deal, said the figures related to the initiative were very positive.
Eve Lake, a specialist conveyancer based at the national law firm’s Sheffield office, said: “This research will be welcomed by the Government as it continues to encourage homeowners to improve the efficiency of their properties.
“The significant rise seen across March is particularly welcome and it will be interesting to see if such figures can be built upon over the coming months.”
Discussing more specifics related to Green Deal, Eve added: “Repayments from the scheme are calculated on estimated savings as a result of the improvements, the idea being that the changes should reduce the cost of utility bills over time – depending on energy costs.
“Tenants in properties can also take advantage of the scheme, as the Green Deal binds to the property and not the individual who pays for the electricity or benefits from the improvements.
“When buying a property, its Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) will show if any work was undertaken in relation to the Green Deal scheme. However, as these are valid for a period of 10 years, your solicitor should ask the question to make sure – purely to ensure the property was not made part of the scheme after the date of the EPC.
“Remember also that any Green Deal installations should be carried out by accredited installers and, if you have any further questions, you should seek legal advice from a specialist.”
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