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Government moots Green Deal rescue plan

The government has unveiled plans to help save its failing Green Deal scheme

The flagship scheme, which has so far failed to engage householders, is set for a shakeup with a new online advice tool and improvements to the report given to consumers after the property has been assessed.

Take-up has been consistently slow with just 219 households installing energy efficiency measures such as insulation through the scheme by the end of October.

Changes, set to be introduced in January, are designed to make the failing scheme more straightforward for householders, but will also affect Green Deal providers, who will see the process for approval speeded up.

The government also said it would open up access to Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) data so that companies can target marketing of the scheme. More energy efficiency measures will also be added to the list of what can be installed through the Green Deal.

The changes come as the government announced it would be diluting the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), which forces energy companies to fund energy efficiency improvements for low income households.

The UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) hit out at the changes branding them ‘bad news’ and ‘perverse’. It also warned that uptake would be spurred on by lower interest rates.

David Symons, director at WSP, agreed: ‘The measures to make the Green Deal simpler will help uptake, but nowhere near as much as a lower interest rate and a well-funded marketing campaign. Treasury could afford to zero rate one million Green Deal loans and still have £65 million left over for promotion just by earmarking the extra £300 million windfall from next year’s Carbon Floor Price escalator.’ 

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