The numbers taking up energy efficiency schemes under the government’s flagship Green Deal remain woefully low as the scheme continues to struggle
With just 13,000 homes a month being assessed under the programme it has been calculated it would take 160 years to survey all the homes in the UK.
Figures released today (19 September) by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) show that 72,210 Green Deal assessments have been completed during the first seven months of the scheme. However the number of Green Deal assessments taking place dropped by 559 from July to August.
Director at WSP David Symons said: ‘[There] isn’t anywhere near enough scale to make [the Green Deal] the transformative programme that it could be. The Government really needs to up the ante to make this scheme a success, something we all want to happen.’
Only a dozen homes have successfully completed the full process and had energy efficiency measures installed.
Last month just one household had been recorded as having managed to navigate through the entire Green Deal process, having had their Green Deal loan approved, set up a Green Deal Plan and actually fitted the recommended energy saving measures.
Defending the scheme, energy and climate change Minister Greg Barker said: ‘It is still early days for the new Green Deal market but encouragingly over 71,000 Green Deal assessments have now been completed. There is clearly growing consumer interest but crucially, assessments are also inspiring action – new research this week shows that 81 per cent of households who had a Green Deal assessment said they have, are getting, or intend to install at least one energy saving measure.
‘Over 173,000 homes have now had Green Deal measures installed with the help of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO).
‘As more companies join the market ahead of the winter, the Green Deal and ECO are increasingly providing consumers with a new range of choices and opportunities to keep their homes warm, cut energy waste and importantly help hard working families with the cost of living.’
The Green Deal loan provider, the Green Deal Finance Company has called for people to look more closely at the value of Green Deal financing, urging people to take up the scheme.
Mark Bayley, chief Executive of the Green Deal Finance Company, said: ‘New independent research also shows interest rates and APRs on Green Deal payment plans are typically cheapest on the market for medium sized loans. We have already agreed £1.1 million of Green Deal plans subject to successful installation, and we are processing a further £1.6 million of applications for plans.
‘People need to take a second look at Green Deal payment plans - they give protection against rising energy prices. Our loans are accessible, affordable, predictable.
“The Green Deal offers a great way of protecting against rising energy bills in the years ahead, so it is good for the customer and good for the country - it’s about energy efficiency at home.’
The UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) has renewed its call for incentives to boost the scheme. Financial incentives such as variable Stamp Duty and Council Tax have been suggested to drive further uptake in the Green Deal.
John Alker, director of policy and communications at UK-GBC, said: ‘Green Deal numbers are edging in the right direction but the scheme still needs a shot in the arm. If ever there was a time for the treasury to bring forward tax incentives to encourage energy efficiency, it is now.
‘With winter approaching, and people beginning to switch on their heating, this is the ideal opportunity to help households protect themselves against rising fuel bills.’
Struggling Green Deal would take 160 years to survey all UK homes