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UK-GBC launches task force to aid struggling Green Deal

With newly released figures showing little uplift in the government’s struggling scheme, the UK-GBC has announced the launch of a task force aimed at addressing Green Deal interest rates

Figures released today (17 October) by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) show that 85,117 Green Deal assessments have been completed during the first eight months of the scheme.

These figures come as the UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) has announced it is launching a task force to look at the scheme’s interest rate.

The current rate of interest being offered by the Green Deal Finance Company is just under 7 per cent, while the APR for Green Deal plans ranges from 7.9 per cent to 10.3 per cent.

These rates have been highlighted as a barrier to uptake of the energy efficiency scheme. Reducing the interest rate could allow more measures to meet the scheme’s Golden Rule principle and potentially reduce the need for customers to make any upfront payments.

The task group, made up of UK-GBC members including Saint-Gobain, Ecology Building Society, Willmott Dixon, and Forum for the Future among others, will present their findings in January 2014.

Christoph Harwood, partner at Marksman Consulting LLP and chair of the task group said: ‘We aim to take a practical view on Green Deal interest rates and help policy makers understand their options.  We are unlikely to come out with a silver bullet solution but what I hope we can do is inform the debate.’

Richard Twinn, policy and public affairs officer at UK-GBC added: ‘It is no secret that the Green Deal has got off to a slow start, with the cost of finance repeatedly blamed.

‘It is essential that we now shift the debate onto finding solutions so that we can make the Green Deal a success.’

The number of households following the Green Deal process through seems to be on the up. Almost 60 households have now had measures installed under the government’s flagship energy efficiency scheme.

By August, 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.

Numbers of Green Deal assessments taking place took a dip during August, but September saw these begin to rise again, with 13,967 taking place.

These numbers have spurred on criticism of the scheme in the past. When figures were released last month, it was calculated that if numbers continued this way it would take 160 years to survey all homes in the UK, and after little increase in figures over the past month this prediction remains the same.

The task group, made up of UK-GBC members including Saint-Gobain, Ecology Building Society, Willmott Dixon, and Forum for the Future among others, will present their findings in January 2014.

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