Brexit: Bonds, Gilt Rates and Credit Ratings At A Time Of Uncertainty

It is a certainty that following the historic Leave vote, the UK economy (and that of Europe) has been negatively impacted upon. The other certainty is that the future of the UK economy is uncertain.

Not only did the pound fall dramatically, but political events that are even now unfolding have cast into question the stability of the UK economy, the world’s fifth largest. Efforts from the Treasury and the Bank of England have gone a long way to reassure the financial markets.

Amidst this uncertainty, savers and investors are doubtless concerned about their savings. Although the immediate outlook is admittedly not great – the surprise is that long term the outlook is actually not so bad. Prior to the vote, many were predicting another recession, high inflation, and a summary crash of the economy. That has failed to happen.

Early indications are not so bad regarding the long term. Already, both the pound and the FTSE100 have shown some recovery. Admittedly, billions was wiped off by the initial crash, and both have returned nowhere near to previous levels, but the slow recovery of both is already being seen.

For savers and investors, there is the matter of interest rates – which is another uncertainty all of its own. The other rates for investors to be concerned about are gilt rates. Gilt rates are the interest that are paid out on gilts – governemnt bonds. Upcoming weeks and months will see, according to economists, the interest British government bonds falling.

This is linked to the recent actions of international ratings agencies Fitch and S&P downgrading the UK’s credit rating. Fitch lowered the national credit rating from AA+ to AA, with S&P lowering the credit rating two notches from AAA to AA. What this means is that both agencies consider that lending money to the UK government is less safe now than it was last week.

It would be expected for that to mean that the government would ultimately have to pay more to borrow money ; according to the Office for Budget Responsibility, says an extra 1% on the government’s cost of any borrowing would cost the Treasury an extra £8bn in 2019-20.


The reality is that the yield (or return) on government bonds (which is traditionally a good indicator of the interest rate the British government would have to pay to borrow any money) has fallen. This is because in times of uncertainty people look for relatively safe investments – such as government bonds. This all leads to the suggestion that the interest paid on gilts will therefore fall. Such a fall will ultimately save the government money, although it is likely that inflation will also rise. This will increase the amount the British government has to pay on loans linked to the rate of inflation.

Paul Johnson, of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, points out that will also be offset by the government having to borrow more money as overall economic growth slows, continuing that “overall the public finances will be in worse state and so debt interest will be higher. And in the long run rates might rise. But for now economic weakness seems to be accompanied by a fall in gilt rates as people look for safer investments.”

Taken together – the outlook is again, uncertain. Although the economy is in a better shape than predicted, the reality is anything but pleasant. Although many trends indicate that over timeframe economy will record and improve – matters such as losing a top credit rating hardly helps. For investors, government bonds will usually always be a safe bet ; but a financial advisor should always be consulted prior to investing in them.

With the government seeking to calm and reassure the markets, and efforts to publicly show that Britain is still ‘open for business’, the assumption is that British government bonds are still a safe investment for savers and investors alike, despite the troubled economic times. 

2016 Sees Financial Deposit Protection Limits Decrease

Since it was set up in 2001, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) has acted to protect the deposits of savers and current account holders. This was particularly supposed to be the case if the bank or financial business that your money was with collapsed, or otherwise ceased operating or trading. To date, throughout the various financial crises, the FSCS has paid out over £26bn to 4.5m customers.

For many years now, the deposit protection limit that covered money in savings and bank accounts, savings bonds, cash ISA’s and similar was £85,000. That figure was the limit per person, per financial firm, with for joint accounts the protection limit being £170,000. As of January 1st this year, however, the protection limit was cut to £75,000 (£150,000 for joint accounts).

The decrease came about as the result of a European banking directive. The UK has been obliged, in accordance with EU laws and EU banking regulations, to bring their financial compensation scheme into line with that of the rest of Europe, which has a protection threshold of €100,000 (£73,000). Many commentators consider the changes unfair, and imposed upon the UK banking sector by Brussels, and feel that the UK is effectively being penalised for the fact that the pound sterling has risen against the euro. However, it is worth remembering that many will not be overly affected. After all, in today’s economy, who actually has over £75,000 in savings? Very few people do; indeed, 2015 saw a record low in the amount of households saving, and the percentage of income being saved.

For those that might be affected, financial advisors and economists are suggesting that you revisit how your savings are structured – for protection against the rules and organisation that are supposed to be protecting savers.

One obvious way for savers to maintain a high level of protection is to split their savings between different banks and building societies, as each single account is protected up to £75,000. Although simple in theory, in reality that is made complicated by the fact that FSCS compensation cover is often shared between banks that operate under the same licence. For example, HSBC and subsidiary bank First Direct share the same licence, and therefore share combined FSCS protection. Indeed, in some cases, savings services providers that are seemingly separate are actually linked under the same licence, and therefore all share combined FSCS protection. One example is that Birmingham Midshires, AA Savings accounts, Saga Savings accounts and Halifax are all separate financial services and providers. However, they are all (surprisingly) part of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group – and therefore benefit from being collectively covered by the FSCS compensation limits and terms, but not individually.

Amongst well known banks and financial services providers, another surprising grouping is Yorkshire Building Society, Norwich & Peterborough Building Society, Egg, and Chelsea Building Society: they all (again) share one licence, and are all covered collectively by the FSCS. Similarly, the Cheshire Building Society, Derbyshire Building Society, Dunfermline Building Society all share the same licence and FSCS cover with Nationwide.

A point worth noting is that whilst UK registered financial service providers and banks have a UK banking licence, and FSCS protection, European banks also operate in the UK. Those banks operate in the UK banking jurisdiction under the regulations of their home countries, using a system known as passporting. Those passporting banks are therefore covered by their home countries’ compensation schemes – which have a slightly higher limit of €100,000. Some of those passporting banks include RCI Bank UK (regulated in France), Fidor Bank (Germany), AgriBank (Malta), Triodos Bank (Netherlands) and Swedish banks Handelsbanken and Ikano.

Although many will not have nearly enough to be affected – the news and the reduced cover does bring saving into sharp relief. Although for many households money is tight and household budgets stretched thin – the message from financial advisers and commentators is always the same. Saving is always recommended and advised.

Even if it is only sporadic, and only a few pounds here and there or an irregular sum – that all adds up over time. If saved in the best savings account, ISA or product for your financial circumstances, that will over time slowly add up and grow.

2016 has already shown that the economy, although recovering, is still very volatile. As such, savings are recommended now more than ever, so that households have enough money for whatever the economy, or whatever life, might throw their way.

Make sure that 2016 is the year that you start saving in earnest, and consider it a financial aim and goal for this New Year.

Retailers & Consumers to See A Cap On Card Fees

Proposed changes to transaction fees on card purchases for retailers could ultimately mean savings for shoppers.

Every time a credit card or debit card is used to make a purchase, a percentage of that purchase price is paid by the retailer, through its bank, to the relevant card company. This is referred to as the ‘interchange fee’. While these fees are covered initially by the banks of the retailers, the costs are subsequently passed on to retailers themselves, and then in turn to the public and consumers (whether they pay by card or not) through higher prices for goods and services.

New rules coming into force at the end of 2015 seek to cap those interchange fees at 0.2% for each debit card transaction, and at 0.3% for each credit card transaction. At present, credit card interchange fees are usually around 0.85% each transaction. Therefore, the cap on fees should bring “significant savings” to retailers, according to the Treasury consultation.

This cap on interchange fees is due to be introduced from 9th December 2015, following a recent EU ruling. Further, with this cap, UK regulators and the Treasury are exploiting EU rules that national governments can set lower caps on domestic card transactions.

Some consider these interchange fees unfair and welcome the cap on such transaction fees. The British Retail Consortium has estimated that the cap could ultimately save British businesses up to £480m a year. However, in its consultation document on the fees cap, the Treasury stated that “the government is clear that merchants are expected to pass these savings on to consumers in the form of lower prices.” Additionally, concerning the interchange fee caps,, George Osborne has also stated that he is “determined to tackle the unfair fees that Britain’s businesses are often charged when their customers pay by card – fees which are often passed on to consumers.”

As such, hard pressed consumers could see prices falling to reflect this. However, it is not all good news; the reforms could signal the demise of credit card reward and cashback schemes, as the card companies seek to attempt to make back the lost revenue. Indeed, credit card companies will be forced to make up the losses somehow.

Such a move benefits retailers, as a business retail expense is curbed. However, as the Chancellor has made quite clear, this cap is not for the benefit of the retailer – but rather consumers. It is expected that prices will be adjusted accordingly, and the benefit ultimately passed on to consumers.

The announcement is welcome assistance for hard pressed shoppers and uncertain personal finances – just in time for Christmas.

Phone Companies Agree to Cap the Bill For Stolen Phones

After a mobile phone is stolen, aside from the practical issues arising regarding information, personal data, contacts, etc, and the emotional issues of actually being robbed, there is a financial aspect to consider from such theft.

Often the thieves (either themselves, or the people they sell the stolen phone on to) will rack up massive phone bills. These are unfortunately passed on via existing phone bills and accounts to the original buyer and owner of the stolen phone. However, efforts are being made to lower the burden.

Following industry discussions earlier this year, mobile phone companies have agreed to introduce a £100 ‘liability cap’ on phones in the event of theft. Leading providers EE, O2, Vodafone, Three and Virgin Media have all signed up to the initiative. This follows some customers facing phone charges and bills running into thousands following the theft of their phone. The liability cap will be activated when a phone is reported as stolen or lost within the first 24 hours.

As such, people are being encouraged to report such losses and thefts immediately. Phones can be blocked or immobilised straight away, lessening their value to thieves, once reported to the phone companies. There are also on-going efforts to instil greater cultural and societal awareness regarding securing your mobile phone- and the personal details and data it contains. Passcodes and PINs for phones and for applications inside (such as emails) can be of great use here. Informing the police, and generating a police report, ifs often required for insurance claims.

The proposed changes are welcomed, as they will also pass on savings to customers if that worst does indeed happen. According to the Home Office, 2012/2013 saw nearly 750,000 phones stolen. Women aged 14- 24 were the most at risk to phone thieves. Apple iPhones were the most popular for thieves, followed by BlackBerry handsets, and Samsungs. Mobile phone theft is, seemingly, a very real risk.

Indeed, the Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB) has seen a great number of calls and issues arising from such thefts- particularly phones bills racked up by the thieves. As such, CAB Chief Executive Gillian Guy has come out in support of the liability cap, stating that “victims of phone crime should not be paying excessive bills run up by thieves… A cap on bills from stolen mobile phones will come as much-needed relief to consumers targeted by phone fraudsters… We will be keeping a close eye on the phone providers’ caps to see if they do really protect phone crime victims from the worst bills.”

The phone companies also agreed other provisions at their talks in February, including a new code of practice. Under the new code, the phone providers will be obliged to give clear pricing information and alerts when customers near data limits. Other provisions are that information will be readily available on how to avoid roaming charges, an a barring function on phones to prevent inadvertent or unauthorised calls to premium rate services and in-app purchases.

Such provisions, agreed by the major phone companies, have been welcomed by many. Indeed, overall the new measures will pass on savings to consumers, and their mobile phone bills. Although welcome, some consider the liability cap and other measures to not go far enough. According to Which? Executive Director Richard Lloyd, the liability cap “falls short of expectations”.

Whether the measures are far enough or not- they will result in savings for mobile phone consumers, and are very much in consumer interests. The phone companies should be applauded for their efforts in this regard.

FCA: ‘Savers are being let down by the big banks’

In a critical swipe at the big banks, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has stated that savers are being let down.

Many banks offer savings accounts with an interest rate of as little as 0.5%- the Bank of England’s base rate. Further, following on from government regulations in September 2013 making it easier and more efficient to switch current accounts, the FCA considers similar assistance should be given to savers and savings accounts.

Whilst not calling for a savings account switching service, the FCA stated in January that savers should be given clearer information as regards savings, and helped to switch to better accounts, if necessary. Further, 80% of easy access savings accounts have not been switched in the last three years; these older accounts tend to earn less interest than more recently opened accounts.

Having recently concluded an investigation into this matter, the FCA also singled out “large personal current account providers”; (the big High Street banks) for criticism. Such banks attracted the most customers and money into savings accounts- despite offering the lowest interest rates.

Following their investigation, the FCA has proposed that savings providers should be more transparent about interest rates and returns, particularly as regards reductions in rates over time. To that end, savers should be informed of the lowest interest rate possible on any particular account. Crucially, savers should also be offered clear and timely information to compare savings providers- and assisted to switch accounts, if necessary. Savers should also be able to view and mange different savings accounts in different places. Additionally, the FCA would like to see a reduction in the switching time for cash Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs)- currently 15 days.

If implemented, banks would have to add a ‘switching box’ to savings account statements. The colourful chart would indicate how bad the interest rate is, and what the saver could earn on average from other providers. When opening a savings account, the would be saver would be warned if the interest rate is a poor rate, stating that the savings account pays “interest below the Bank of England’s base rate”. According to one financial commentator and journalist, such a switching box “could be a big embarrassment for banks and building societies that take advantage of gullible customers.”

In response, Lloyds Banking Group has pledged to improve the simplicity and transparency of its own savings accounts. Each of its main banks (Halifax, Bank of Scotland and Lloyds) would eventually only have three types of savings accounts. The British Bankers Association has conceded that there have been frustrations and issues as regards savings, and that the banking industry would consider the FCA report and proposals.

This is the latest effort by the FCA to return accountability and transparency to the banking sector. Yet again the FCA has emerged as a consumer champion, and has taken firm action against banking malpractice. Despite that, the FCA has not gone as far as banning ‘teaser rates.’ Those are advertised high introductory rates that entice customers to open a savings account. After six months or so, that teaser rates falls, with the customer now committed to a savings account or financial product. The FCA considers that such teaser rates can be of benefit to customers, and expects subsequent rate changes to be communicated and explained. In this regard, the FCA has retreated from forcing providers to alter their behaviour.

Consultations on this matter are being held, and are set to end later this month. Whatever the FCA rules, and whatever is implemented, it is undeniable that the big banks have been letting down, or misinforming, savers for some time now. Once again, though, the big banks are being brought to account for such practices.

Regulators Impose Record Fines over FOREX Rigging

November saw the big banks forced to make amends for yet another banking scandal.

The scandal in question was FOREX rigging. Allegations emerged that many traders worldwide had colluded to rig the spot price of certain currencies, in order to influence the markets and currency trading in their favour. The allegations were investigated by financial fraud and regulatory agencies in the UK, US and other countries.

The result of the parallel investigations was to prove that such rigging of the FOREX markets did indeed occur between 2009 and 2012. Essentially, groups of traders had electronically got together at key times during trading day to collectively fix the spot price of certain currencies. The day’s trading would then proceed around those fixed prices- to the advantage of the colluding traders.

In response, many bank chiefs have been keen to stress that it was the work of one or two rogue currency traders. Banking officials have also been keen to stress that the banking sector does not condone such behaviour, and that FOREX rigging is one of the many past misdeeds of the banking industry which are being brought to light, and amends being made. With the increased scrutiny, scope and powers of financial regulators, the industry had cleaned up its act, and is more transparent than previously, in efforts to gain public and political confidence.

The investigations into FOREX are a reminder, however, of past banking misdeeds and excesses- and a reminder of how banking should not operate. Indeed, the international investigations have resulted in record fines being imposed on the banks in question.

November saw six banks fined collectively £2.6bn by UK and US regulators over the FOREX scandal. The American Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) imposed fines of $1.4bn upon five banks, including banking giants JP Morgan Chase, Citibank and Bank of America. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) added a further $950m in fines to three banks.

In the UK, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) fined several HSBC and RBS over £430m collectively. With additional fines imposed by the FCA on the US banks, overall the FCA has imposed a record of £1.1bn in fines over FOREX- the largest fines ever imposed by the FCA or its predecessor regulator, the FSA. Commenting on the fines, FCA Chief Executive Martin Wheatley stated that “this isn’t the end of the story…The individuals themselves will face the consequences [of their actions].”

Separately, Swiss financial regulator FINMA fined UBS CHF 134m for their role in the price fixing. In another related but separate investigation, the Bank of England was itself cleared of any wrongdoing. There were allegations that the Bank of England had known about the spot fixing, but had taken no action. A report by Lord Gardiner, released at the same time, cleared Bank of England officials of any wrongdoing; “There was no evidence that any Bank of England official was involved in any unlawful or improper behaviour in the FX [foreign exchange] market,” the report ultimately found. This was after a senior Bank executive had been suspended, and fired shortly before the report was published; the Bank stated that that was “unrelated”.

In response, all the banks implicated and fined were swift to comment, and take action.
However, as one commentator noted, no firm disciplinary action has been taken against anyone. According to Professor Mark Taylor, a former foreign exchange trader, and currently dean at Warwick Business School, the fines are “relatively small beer for banks that regularly report billions of dollars in annual profit…The interesting thing is that there are no individuals named as yet, and no individual prosecutions. This is still a possibility and it will be interesting to see how that pans out. At the moment, it’s really only the shareholders – which in the case of RBS means British taxpayers – who suffer from these fines.”

The British government also commented on the fines, with Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls both commenting on the need for change in banking culture, and to clear up the corruption and excesses of the past.  Both politicians stressed the need for reform of the banking sector

Another banking scandal unearthed, and addressed. Just like the more well know PPI scandal, FOREX fixing was indeed a past event, and also shows just how intolerant the regulators and regulations are becoming to any such excesses and scandals. However, despite tough words and actions from regulators, clearly it is insufficient. More needs to be done to restore faith, trust and decency to banking. However, there has been a lot of progress in that regard, as the investigation and fines into this particular scandal shows.

Consider the Differences when Considering Saving

Many thousands have savings. Those savings are often either residing in high interest savings accounts, ISA’s, bonds, investments, or similar. However, very few consider this one question; are those savings in your best interest?

Is that savings account or investment the right one for you? Could you get a better return on your savings elsewhere? Many choose to stick to existing banks and providers as regards savings, or allow their savings to remain the same over decades. For many, the familiarity and the ease of remaining with the same financial institution far out ways any hypothetical gain in their savings.

However, in many areas of life (car insurance, for example) it is often best to shop around. A little bit of work examining and comparing the relevant markets and providers can often unearth a much better deal than what you have currently. For savings, it is exactly the same; do not be afraid to examine other banks, to consider alternative savings options.

Indeed, these days comparison sites such as Money Supermarket, Compare the Market, and Go Compare (aside from very annoying adverts), also provide rapid comparisons of financial institutions and all aspects of financial services. Take time to check with alternative providers, in case there is a deal more suited to your needs, or benefits you more. Above all, do not be afraid, if appropriate, to come out of a long standing financial savings service (ISA, bonds, etc) when the contract allows, and to transfer your savings elsewhere. Your bank will put pressure on you to stay (it is not in their business interests for you to leave, after all) – but exercise your consumer rights and judgement and do just that.

Firstly, though, it is necessary to consider long term plans. What are those savings and investments for? Are they being invested for children or grandchildren (requiring a long term investment and return), or are they for a specific purchase, for example? Is buying a house being considered or planned for? Different long and short term financial goals will require different types of investment. With that in mind, the consumer is better able to search for the savings solution that works best for their needs.

With a little bit of planning, and with a bit of research, it is surprising how those savings in the bank can be better invested to generate a better return for the average saver. It is rarely wise to be complacent or comfortable as regards savings; it is far better to every once a while work out whether that ISA or investment is still providing the best return for your investment.

Cutting Your Mobile Phone Bill

mobilesMobiles are a true essential of modern life, but for heavy users they can be a major monthly expense. Even if you’re a light user, it would still be nice to pay less when you can. There are a number of tactics you can use to keep your mobile phone bill low without compromising on your usage.


All but the lightest of users will be better off on some form of contract or regular deal. If you are on pay-as-you-go, keep track of your usage and then see how that compares to available contracts. SIM-only contract deals are usually available from £5 a month and cover a lot more usage than equivalent spending on a pay-as-you-go tariff. If you spend more than that, just slotting a new SIM into your phone could save you money. If you spend more than £7.50 a month, you can probably find a money-saving deal which includes a handset. When you can get a brand new phone by paying less money, there is no excuse not to switch to a contract.


Often, you can save money by choosing the equivalent deal from a different network. As with home utility providers, it pays to shop around. Do not write off low-cost operators out of hand. GiffGaff is an award-winning discount network which is owned by O2 and operates on their network. Carphone Warehouse, meanwhile, offer deals from a self-owned discount network called TalkMobile, which is essentially a rebranded Vodaphone. If you live in a remote area, try to find out whether your home receives coverage from your new network, as there is no legal right to cancel a contract on this basis alone.


If you still operate on a pay-as-you-go tariff or are worried about exceeding the usage limits on your contract, you can use apps to help. Skype allows you to make high-quality voice calls to other Skype users without actually using up any of your minutes. WhatsApp does the same for text and multimedia messaging, with plans to add voice calls in the near future. These kind of app essentially do the same thing as making a phone call or sending a text, but they do so through mobile internet. This means that instead of counting against your contract’s standard limits for these purposes, they count against your data allowance. The actual data usage involved is tiny, so it is unlikely you’ll just end up exceeding that limit instead.

New ISAs: A Quick Guide

From the 1st of July, the old system of ISAs will be replaced by a reformed, simplified system of New ISAs (NISAs).  This change was one of the most well-publicised announcements in this year’s budget. Now that the date when these changes will take effect is growing close, it is probably a good idea to get to know just what will change.

Increased Saving Limit

One of the simplest and, for many people, most welcome changes will be an increase in the amount that can be saved tax-free each year. The limit will be increasing from the current level of £11,520 to £15,000. This is an increase of £3,480. The increased limit will allow savers to shelter a greater chunk of their savings from tax each year, increasing the net amount of interest they receive or the returns they earn on relevant investments.

Furthermore, you will have more freedom in how you choose to invest this. Previously, there was a secondary limit on the amount of cash that could be saved tax-free. Only half of your limit could be used up by cash, and if you wanted to use your full limit the rest would have to be made up through stocks and shares. This left those who did not invest in the stock market and did not wish to do so worse off. By sticking to cash, their tax-free savings limit that was effectively halved. Now, it will be possible to save the full limit as cash if you choose. As a result, cash-only ISA users will experience a massive increase in the amount they are able to put into an ISA for tax free interest. Their effective limit will leap from £5,760 to £15,000, an increase of £9,240.

Simpler and More Flexible

Previously, there were two types of ISA. One was used for saving cash and the other for stocks and shares. The New ISA will replace both of these and become the only type of ISA available. It will effectively combine the two, giving you more freedom in how to store your money without the need for two accounts.

You will now be able to invest your money in a New ISA however you like. You can put cash, stocks and shares, or a mixture of both into a single account. While those who wanted to invest a mixture of cash and shares have so far needed two separate accounts, they will now be able to put both types of saving into the same account making things simpler and easier.

Simple Ways to Cut Your Bills

Energy BillsBills are one of the biggest outgoings that a modern household faces. There are a number of big and small ways to keep the cost down. However, with so much advice flying about on being frugal with energy it is difficult to know which actions will make a real, noticeable difference.

There are, however, things you can do that will result in a very noticeable saving, often by making a surprisingly small change to your lifestyle.

Consider a Smaller Utility Provider

It is no secret that it is important to search the market for the cheapest utility provider. However, for many people the search is limited to the “Big Six.” Smaller energy providers are often noticeably cheaper, with savings of tens or even hundreds of pounds over the course of a year when compared to the various major companies. On top of this, in a recent customer satisfaction survey none of the big six even made the top ten, being thoroughly beaten out by a number of smaller companies.

Install Energy-Saving Light Bulbs

Standard energy saving light bulbs can save an average household £45 a year compared to traditional bulbs. LED bulbs are more expensive to buy at first, but make up for it by offering even better energy efficiency and a very long lifespan. If you still have traditional light bulbs in some or all of your rooms, now could be the time to change them.

Time Your Showers

Water is unique compared to other billed utilities, because you can’t change provider or seek out a better deal. This makes it all the more important to ensure that you use water cost-effectively in your home. One factor that can make a surprisingly big difference is to set a four minute time limit on showers. Compared to the average shower length of eight minutes and combined with a water-efficient shower head, this can save around £80 a year through lower water and energy bills.

Insulate Your Home

Installing loft or cavity wall insulation may seem like a bigger, costlier step to take but the effect on your bills will be significant. Either type of insulation can often save upwards of £200 per year by helping your home retain more heat, and will almost always pay for itself in the first year or two if your home does not currently have any effective insulation. Since insulation is usually good for a few decades before it needs replacing, you stand to save a lot of money. The green deal may be able to help you if the initial cost is a problem.