Is the Green Deal for replacement “A” rated windows really worth all the hassle?

Basically in my own opinion – no it is not! There may be a limited few who it might assist who are only replacing two small single pane windows with “A” rated UPVC windows, plus don’t mind filling in lots of forms in hope they will be one of the “first come. first served”.

It is not only UK consumers who have to deal with all the red tape associated with the Green Deal, as suppliers have to do a vast amount of work to for very little return, which is the same boat UK home owners are in, given the strict limits placed on the scheme for replacement windows.

In my view there are some issues surrounding the “Green Deal Cashback Scheme” that householders need to be fully aware of before applying for the scheme:

i)  Consumers are only allowed ONE Green Deal Cashback application, so home owners wanting to do other energy saving projects, such as insulation or upgrading their heating or boiler, must apply for these at same time as say replacement windows and doors, with a maximum amount of £1,000 available assuming that they spend a minimum of £2,000 on improvements that qualify.

ii)  Any Cashback from the Green Deal Cashback Scheme is capped at a maximum of 50% of the cost.

iii)  The Green Deal Cashback Scheme is only available through official Green Deal suppliers, with consumers having to pay the entire amount upfront.

iv)  The Cashback Scheme for all household improvements at the current rates is capped at £40m for entire UK (i.e. not a lot!), on a first come, first served basis, plus consumers cannot claim until after all the work is done and paid for in full, and only after each supplier latterly registers that all the work that has been done all complies with all the Green Deal Cashback rules. Logic suggests that some UK home owners might well be running the risk of getting their improvements done, only to find out 2-3 months later that all the £40m has run out and be left with less Cashback than they thought, or none at all once its all gone!

v)  There is another £85m set aside for the scheme, but at unconfirmed rates. These rates will probably depend on amount and speed of take up of the first £40m, and are likely to be less than the first wave (a bit like the Feed in Tariff re solar panels is being continually reduced).

vi)  The maximum UK homeowners can claim in total towards replacement windows is only £320, and even to get this they must spend at least £640 to be able to claim this, plus they can only apply if a) changing existing SINGLE GLAZING and b) fitting â€ŔA” rated double/triple glazing. Given the average cost of an average sized genuinely “A” rated UPVC double glazed casement window with a couple of opening vents and a fixed pane is around £600 supplied and fitted, this Cashback scheme in effect might fund half a window?

vii)  When it comes to a replacement external door, the maximum UK home owners can get back on a high performance replacement door is £40, conditional on a high performance, highly thermally efficient door being installed.

viii) The Green Deal also offers the prospect of home owners being able to claim a maximum of £230 secondary glazing.

ix)  The real question is the amount of red tape involved for both supplier and home owner worth the gain, given the pot of cash is extremely small, plus as the DECC’s own leaflet states â€ŔThese rates are guaranteed for the first £40m after which the rates are likely to reduce. Act early to get the best rates”

x) THE CATCH –  If the primary reason consumers are interested in the Green Deal is so that they get a contribution towards a replacement window and/or door, beware, as if the Green Deal Assessment recommends that a UK home owners loft and/or cavity wall insulation needs doing, these Green Deal improvements will take priority over replacement windows and doors. Consequently, customers with homes needing loft insulation and cavity wall insulation, will have to spend money on one or both of these home improvements first, BEFORE being allowed to claim any Cashback whatsoever towards a double glazed window etc.

Whilst it is be welcomed as a very small step in the right direction, the Green Deal scheme in my opinion is a token limited scheme, that once consumers find out all the catches, red tape, strict rules and amount of hassle involved, may well not want to run the risk of a) getting a reduced Cashback after the first £40m has gone (as let’s face it this will not go far across the entire UK, given it is for all energy saving home improvements) and/or b) getting no Cashback at all if cash all gone, and/or the improvements they carry out not deemed by a particular supplier to have â€Ŕqualified” under the scheme rules.


Our showrooms are our shop windows and we have invested heavily to create extensive displays that best showcase our large range of windows, doors and living spaces. You will receive a warm welcome, plus a proper coffee, and the choice to browse at your leisure without interruption.


Want to speak with an Advisor? Give us a call on 08000 825 825

Our friendly team will be pleased to help with any questions you may have.

Back To Our Blog