Somerset West Home Energy

Understanding the Green Deal and ECO approach

Project duration: April 2012 to October 2012

Somerset West Home Energy was a pilot project which made 'Green Deal trailblazers' of some residents of the county.

Taking place in the council areas of West Somerset, Sedgemoor and Taunton Deane, the scheme was designed to test the principles behind the forthcoming Green Deal, particularly the Carbon and Affordable Warmth aspects of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO).

The scheme provided customers with the right balance of pay-as-you-save finance and Energy Company Obligation funding to enable them to make their homes a more comfortable place to live, with a focus on installing solid wall insulation. More vulnerable customers were able to access fully-funded loft and cavity wall insulation and heating system improvements through the Affordable Warmth scheme.

How did it work?

Initially, a free Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) was carried out to determine what type of insulation or heating measures were needed at the property, along with an assessment of the customer's current occupancy habits. The Home Energy team at CSE took the results and used them to calculate a pay-as-you-save finance option (available from Wessex Home Improvement Loans) and combined this with Energy Company Obligation funding to mimic a Green Deal offer.

The monthly repayments for this finance package are lower than the expected monthly fuel bill savings. So if the Energy Perfomance Certificate suggests a fuel bill saving of £30 per month, then the repayments will less than this, meaning the householder can enjoy a more comfortable home without worrying about the cost. This 'golden rule' is another key principle of Green Deal funding.

Trained energy advisors were available to talk through the project and the various options with each customer. If the cusomter wanted to proceed, we sent them a West Somerset Home Energy brochure and application form. The brochure contained information about the grant and the pay-as-you-save loan, the various measures and where to find approved installers.

You can read the brochure here.

Scheme success

Three customers had solid wall insulation installed through Somerset West Home Energy - an expensive improvement that they would not have been able to afford otherwise, but that will make a big difference to their house's warmth and energy consumption.

Three other customers had heating improvements installed, as they were eligible for free improvements under the Affordable Warmth scheme. Here's one of the people we helped:


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