Housing Specification Blog

Can we get the Green Deal going?

July 2, 2013 Alexandra Blakeman Housing Issues

Not a single UK household has been completed to Green Deal specification during the first five months of the flagship energy policy.

Figures, released by DECC last week, show 38,259 assessments completed up to 16 June resulted in just 245 Green Deal plans, with only four signed off.

These embarrassing statistics have done no favours to on-going sign up rates. It seems that homeowners aren’t willing to jump on the Green Deal bandwagon because the take up has been so poor and the publicity somewhat dwindling.

Climate Change Minister Greg Barker denies the policy’s teething problems.

He said: “The Green Deal is an ambitious and uniquely long-term programme designed to upgrade the energy efficiency of Britain’s homes. It’s only just getting started, but the early signs are encouraging.

“We’ve seen that 81,798 installations have taken place with the support of the new Energy Company Obligation, helping those most in need or with particularly hard to treat properties. But this is just the start. 38,259 Green Deal assessments is also a clear sign that many consumers genuinely want to make their homes more efficient; but we are keen to do more.

“It will take time as this brand new market finds its legs, but I now expect the number of plans signed to start steadily rising.”

Worryingly for Mr Barker and his team, British Gas are the only major UK energy company to have launched a Green Deal programme. Is there any scope for other firms to do the same or is the Green Deal policy about to make an exit similar to its lack lustre entrance?

John Sinfield, managing director of Knauf Insulation Northern Europe said:

“While these figures show there is an appetite for energy efficiency refurbishments, they also show that the Green Deal is clearly missing the mark with consumers. If the Government is to avoid throwing away this significant opportunity then it must act now to introduce real incentives.

“For me, the most effective solution would be linking Stamp Duty levels to a property’s energy efficiency as this would encourage both the buyer and vendor to consider energy performance as part of the sales process. Indeed, this would incentivise estate agents, surveyors and even mortgage advisors to promote energy efficiency retrofits, offering even more bites at the cherry.”

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