First Green Deal loans issued as new scheme is ‘soft launched’

Image: Campbell & Kennedy.

Green deal providers are processing loans for the first in nearly two years after the Green Deal Finance Company (GDFC) kicked into gear once again.

Today the GDFC, acquired by Greenstone Finance in January this year, began financing loans through a number of select providers as part of a soft launch which it recently teased.

A wider rebrand and roll-out is to occur later this year.

Throughout the soft launch phase the GDFC is to continually assess and improve the actual loan product and service offering, including its route to market, customer experience and quality control, areas which were routinely criticised while the GDFC was under government control.

Kilian Pender, chief executive at the GDFC, said the firm was extremely pleased to see the loans start up again.

“Since acquiring the business in January, we have received a very significant amount of support from government, energy efficient focused organisations, manufacturers and installer organisations amongst others, all of whom are eager to see the scheme continue where it left off and build further momentum.”

The Green Deal was sensationally scrapped in summer 2015 as one of the first acts of the new Conservative government, dealing a significant blow to solar installers that had signed up to the scheme’s installation element.

The government insisted at the time that it was to launch a replacement scheme however it never materialised.

The pay-as-you-save scheme was however roundly criticised for being too complicated and failing to resonate with its intended consumer audience, prompting a series of government reviews which probed failures within the mechanism’s design.

Pender admitted that there was “still work to do” in the Green Deal’s design, but said the soft launch was a “significant first step” towards catering for the market once again.

“Given out focus on quality control and providing high levels of service to our customers and installer partners, we have taken the decision to start slowly through a select number of GDPs, although we hope to offer finance through a wider number over the coming months,” he added.

Last month the GDFC confirmed it was collaborating with peer-to-peer platform Abundance to raise as much as £5 million to accelerate the roll-out of its new offering.

Earlier this year Solar Power Portal spoke to Kilian Pender about Greenstone’s plans for the GDFC, more on which can be read here