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DIY Conservatories & the Green Deal

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Monday April 16, 2012 at 10:08am

Green Tax on Conservatories a red tape Nightmare? Anyone thinking of installing a new DIY Conservatory may want to move fast. If they want to wait until 2014 they may find a mass of red tape or maybe that should be ‘green’ red tape, be wrapped over their DIY conservatory project along with having to pay hundreds of pounds extra.

Under plans currently being discussed by the coalition Government, a homeowner wanting to install a conservatory from 2014 may have to invest in energy efficient projects within their home. To show their home is energy efficient. To install a new conservatory may require special planning permission that will be granted on the proviso that the house has been fully insulated.

 Potentially a property owner will need to have their home inspected by some bureaucrat to make sure that double glazed windows have been fitted, sufficient loft insulation and cavity wall insulation, where possible.

Why is this occurring? This scheme is all part of the green deal which aims to insulate all homes with the next 20 years.

This policy was embraced by Chris Huhne the late minister for Energy Change prior to being forced to resign – for perverting the course of justice in February 2012 over a speeding offence. The aim of Mr Huhne’s 2011 energy act is to achieve a large scale reduction in the amount of carbon dioxide(CO2) given off by buildings. This whirlwind of legislation comes off the back of the 2008 climate change act which taken out by Tony Blair and his last government. The act which is the only one of its kind in the world commits the UK to cutting its CO2 emissions within 40 years by an amazing 80%.

Mr Huhne stated in his forward to the green deal summary proposals that ‘Under the Green Deal, bill payers will be able to get energy efficiency improvements without having to front up the cash. Instead, businesses will provide the capital, getting their money back via the energy bill. At the heart of the offer is a simple rule: estimated savings on bills will always equal or exceed the cost of the work’.

 Interestingly later within the same proposal this is said ‘However, actual cash savings cannot be guaranteed by government since no-one except individuals and businesses themselves can control how much energy they actually consume in their own property’. And that is the crux of the matter the government are unable to verify any cash saving to the consumer.

Although the DECC does state elsewhere ‘Lower income and vulnerable households may not save money through energy efficiency because many do not have the heating turned on long enough to heat their homes sufficiently, so increased efficiency may mean they will enjoy warmer homes rather than cash savings’. The homeowner then, can presumably relax in a warmer home and take solace in the fact that through no choice of his own higher energy bills are helping reduce climate change- supposedly. A typical scenario involving the installation of A DIY conservatory, would involve a property assessment by an accredited advisor, who will make a recommendation for any insulation improvements. It is unclear at this stage who would visit the property when a DIY conservatory is proposed. Or weather the home owner doing the work themselves could self regulate, by working to the green deals code of practice.

 Should the homeowner have insufficient monies to finance the up front cost, they can agree to take out a green deal finance loan. This loan would be secured against the properties energy bills. And its current occupier would then service the loan. The provider of the green deal receives there payment directly from the energy supplier. The consumer will pay the energy/finance company on their monthly bills. John Armstrong Director of said ‘A choice of how to spend your money is being denied to every home owner. You could be forced to take out a loan for energy efficiency measures that lamentably, will have a miniscule effect on global CO2 emissions. Maybe if the government choose to give reward, rather than fine homeowner’s, people would then choose where to put their money.’ So it may really be a legitimate case of there never been a better time to buy a DIY conservatory

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