‘Urgent intervention’ required as latest statistics show lacklustre Green Deal uptake

Just 12 households have taken out Green Deal plans since the scheme’s launch in January, according to the latest Green Deal figures published by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

The statistics show the Coalition’s flagship green policy’s performance up to the end of August. In total, there have been 71,210 Green Deal assessments lodged, up 23% from the previous month.

Of those assessments, 677 have expressed an interest in a Green Deal Plan with 293 accepting the quote, 372 signed plans pending installation and 12 with measures installed.  

The energy and climate change minister, Greg Barker, said that he was encouraged by the number of green deal assessments but acknowledged that is “still early days for the new Green Deal market”.

Barker added: “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.”

However, Neil Marshall, chief executive of the National Insulation Association (NIA) has attacked the figures, labelling them “extremely disappointing and of huge concern.”

Marshall explained: “The number of installations in 2013 remains well short of what is needed and there is no sign of the ramping up in volumes that is required. In its annual report in June, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) stressed the need to maintain and increase the pace of insulation installations to meet the Carbon Budgets. There are still 7 million solid walls, 5 million cavity walls and 7 million lofts that need insulating in the UK.

“Based on 2012 levels this would require some 600,000 cavities, 1.2 million lofts and over 80,000 solid walls to be insulated each year – which is achievable and would require levels of activity built up over many years to be maintained. However, over the first seven months of 2013 Green Deal and ECO have delivered at a rate equivalent to just 114,000 cavity wall, 135,000 loft and 12,000 solid wall installations per annum which is very bad news for carbon savings, consumer’s energy bills and jobs in the insulation industry.”

The NIA believes that the lack of uptake within the Green Deal can no longer be attributed to a slow start and is calling for urgent government intervention to boost the scheme.

DECC recently released research which suggested that the Green Deal has been an effective agent of change despite the low number of active plans. According to DECC, more than 80% of households who have had a Green Deal assessment ‘have already, are in the process of, or intend to install at least one energy efficiency home improvement, with many forgoing the scheme’s finance plan.