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Which?: Green Deal 'may not be good for all'

Few people appear to have heard of the "Green Deal", which is officially launched today.

Under the scheme, if someone thinks their home is energy inefficient, they can get an accredited assessor round who can recommend measures such as insulation or double glazing.

That person can then borrow the money needed to have the works done, with re-payments on the loan taken out of their energy bills.

The scheme's so called "golden rule" is that the consumer should save more on fuel than they pay on the loan, so they do not lose out financially.

Mark Bayley, CEO of The Green Deal Finance Company, told the Today programme: "The golden rule is fundamental to the scheme.

"We will have a system of independent assessors whose role is to be impartial, and they will actually take some time to go through your home and your lifestyle, looking at how you pay your electricity and your gas and what you do."

But Richard Lloyd, Executive Director of Which?, said: "It all sounds very sensible in theory, and for some people this might be good deal... But I think a lot of people will be looking very sceptically at this and thinking whether getting into the Green Deal is a good idea.

"If a consumer's circumstances change, say an elderly relative moves in or you have a child, your energy use changes and the golden rule gets smashed out of the window."

"It may be a good deal, but we don't know enough about the detail yet… make sure you shop around."

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme on Monday 28 January 2012.