The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has announced a range of reforms intended to ‘streamline and improve’ the flailing Green Deal.

Starting in January 2014, DECC will be introducing a number of new tools that it hopes will better incentivise take up of the Green Deal. Dubbed the government’s flagship environmental scheme, the Green Deal has fallen well short of its billing as the largest home improvement scheme since World War II. The latest installation figures published by DECC show that despite more than 100,000 assessments taking place, just 219 homes across the UK have ‘live’ Green Deal plans.

The department is working on simplifying the Green Deal process for the public; an online tool will be launched that will look to give consumers advice on energy efficiency. In addition, the Green Deal advice report will be simplified making it clearer and easier to understand and consumers will be given better signposting to companies that provide the services they require.   

In order to help companies looking to operate in the Green Deal market, DECC will open up EPC data so that properties in need of energy efficiency improvements can be easily identified. The department will also be looking at adding measures to the Green Deal-approved list to increase flexibility.   

Another key aspect that the government is looking to change is allowing customers to move from a quote to a Green Deal Plan in one day. DECC is keen to minimise the number of home visits currently required under the Green Deal.

Commenting on the announced measures, Brian Smithers, strategic development director at Rexel UK said: “It’s encouraging to see that the government has taken on board feedback about the perceived complexity around the Green Deal. However, more also needs to be done to educate consumers on the scheme.

“Despite the financial help available with the Green Deal, research we conducted found that 63% of consumers say that costs are holding them back from investing in energy efficiency solutions. Ultimately awareness and understanding of the Green Deal will drive adoption, but convenience is also a key driver in any scheme such as this, and hopefully these tweaks will give a much needed boost to the uptake of the initiative.”