Half of homeowners reject Green Deal

Published:  11 August, 2011

LONDON: Almost half of householders in a trial of the Green Deal grant rejected the scheme despite promised long-term savings.

The pilot scheme in South London to test the effectiveness of the Green Deal has shown many homeowners are not primarily motivated by financial incentives.

The trial in the London Borough of Sutton showed 61% of trial Green Deal consumers chose packages that were unlikely to offer the best financial returns.

The Green Deal is the government's scheme to encourage owners of existing homes and businesses to upgrade their buildings by installing energy-saving improvements at no upfront cost. Repayments are made from savings made on a customer's energy bills.

B&Q, London Borough of Sutton and consultant BioRegional underwrote the pilot involving 67 homes and carried out over 2010 and 2011. A total of 126 homes received an energy audit and despite the 40% grant on offer, nearly half of householders turned down the deal, believing long-term savings would be lower than expected.

Around a third of those who took up the offer chose the shortest payback period while 33% took the 25-year loan package that meant repayments were higher than fuel bills.

Some customers also chose to invest more in improvements because they expected fuel prices to continue to rise or to improve their home, the researchers said.

The average amount invested per household was £13,000, greater than the £10,000 figure expected by the organisers.

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