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Zopa goes with the Flow – Launch update

Zopa is pleased to announce this week that its collaboration with gas and electricity supplier Flow Energy has now launched to help introduce a new wave of innovative money- and energy-saving boilers to UK households.

Flow’s boiler converts gas into electricity that can be used to run your home as well as sold back to the energy grid. The combined heat and power (CHP) boiler also uses gas to provide domestic hot water and a central heating system.

Because it converts gas so efficiently into electricity – Flow says it is three times as efficient as a power station – the typical customer can expect to save around £200 a year on their electricity bills while cutting their carbon emissions by roughly a fifth.

And on top of that, households which install one of these boilers will be eligible to receive Feed-in Tariff (FIT) payments from the government worth on average £300 a year.

The FIT scheme is aimed at encouraging people to generate their own energy at home. You can be paid both for the energy you generate for your own use as well as any surplus which is exported to the grid (for example, households with their own solar panels or wind turbines can also be eligible for FIT payments).

So where does Zopa fit in?

Well, Flow’s boilers involve an upfront cost, both for the units themselves and for expert installation.

As a result, Flow has teamed up with Zopa to provide a finance package to help people spread the cost of the Flow boiler over a five year period.

Under the scheme, known as the Flow Finance package, the customer will take out a Zopa personal loan, of which £3,675 will cover the cost of the boiler with an additional sum for installation (costs vary per home) at a fixed rate of 8.9% APR over five years. As part of the package customers will have to switch their home energy supplier to Flow.

The cost of the repayments relating to the boiler alone will be £77 a month. But Flow guarantees to cut customers’ monthly energy bills by exactly this amount over the five-year period, provided the company is allowed to keep any FIT payments until the loan is paid off.

The net result of this agreement is that Flow customers get a state-of-the-art CHP boiler for the cost of installation – around £1,800, the company says. Flow is currently taking registrations online for Flow Finance as part of its soft launch and will be making direct applications available in the coming weeks.

You will have to remain a Flow Energy customer for five years but Flow guarantees to undercut the average of the standard tariffs offered by the UK’s Big Six energy providers over this period.

Once the five years are up, the FIT payments and electricity savings are shared equally between Flow and you.

Flow is a privately owned company which was listed on the alternative AIM exchange in 2006. Insurance giant Aviva owns a 20% stake in Flow, which has spent 10 years developing its CHP boiler.

Flow’s CEO Tony Stiff says: “We know many customers are worried about one-off household costs like replacing a boiler. We also know they want lower energy bills and that many people would like to be greener, without incurring additional expense.”

“We think the way to deliver these benefits to customers is through technology – specifically through our ground-breaking, electricity-generating boiler, wrapped up in our revolutionary ‘pays for itself’ deal.”

For more details about Flow and its innovative boiler be sure to visit the company’s website here.