The government’s flagship energy efficiency scheme the green deal has been criticised again after official figures showed that the initiative is continuing to disappoint.
The green deal was officially launched at the beginning of 2013 and aims to tackle barriers relating to the take-up of energy efficiency measures. The scheme provides an assessment on buildings to identify where improvements can be made and finance to help homeowners make the changes.
But new data published by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) show that nationally just 33 new green deal plans were singed in February. There are now 1,754 green deal plans in progress but only 883 households have seen measures installed. Energy minister Greg Barker had previously said he expected 10,000 households to be signed up to the scheme by the end of 2013.
In total, 163,000 green deal assessments have been carried out, with February registering the highest number for a single month. However, with just one in 10 households continuing with the plan it seems the scheme is not effectively communicating the benefits of energy efficiency.
Responding to the statistics, John Alker, director of policy and communications for the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC), said, “The scheme was always going to be something of a slow burner initially, but the number of new plans is reducing to a trickle.
“Government has already had its wake-up call, it is now crunch time. It needs to step in to reduce the cost of the finance plans, strengthen and make permanent tax incentives, and make energy efficiency a pre-requisite for anyone getting an extension this summer.”
The fact that energy efficiency measures and incentives were not introduced in the chancellor’s budget this week was described as “disappointing” by the UKGBC.
Prior to the budget announcement on Wednesday, sustainable investor WHEB called on the government to “turbocharge” its efforts to encourage homeowners to make energy efficiency improvements to their homes.