Under 200 homes signed up for Green Deal

Published:  11 June, 2013

Fewer than 200 homes have signed up for the government’s flagship Green Deal scheme, according to the BBC and national newspapers.

Over 18,000 Green Deal assessments have been carried out since the scheme was launched at the end of January this year, but BBC Radio 4's You And Yours programme has claimed that less than 200 people have gone on to sign Green Deal loan agreements.

The Sun's environment editor Ben Jackson has said this number is actually nearer 100, with only three agreeing to repay the loan through additional payments on their energy bills. The other 97, he said, have instead chosen to pay by monthly direct.

The Green Deal scheme has £200m of government funding allocated by Chancellor George Osborne, intended to encourage people to upgrade their homes with more energy-efficient systems including cavity wall insulation, new boilers and solar panels. The loans are subject to 7 percent interest charges and are to be repaid over a maximum of 25 years. This, the government believes, will help improve the efficiency of the UK's housing stock and reduce energy bills.

Industry comments suggest that homeowners are being put off from the scheme by concerns that attaching the loan to the property may be a deterrent to potential buyers if the house is subsequently put on the market, while technical problems that have delayed the funding have also been an issue.

Speaking in March, Energy Minister Greg Barker said he hoped to have at least 10,000 people signed up to the Green Deal by the end of the year.

Of the figures, the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) said: “The Green Deal is an ambitious 20-year programme designed to deliver home improvement in Great Britain on an unprecedented scale. It’s only just getting started.

“However, the early signs are encouraging. Over 18,000 assessments were carried out by April. Over 60 companies are registered to provide Green Deal Finance – for many their first venture into such a market. It will take time for all of them to have robust systems in place. Four finance providers are operating in the market and the Green Deal Finance Company is working hard with others to ensure that those who need it can access finance and can proceed quickly to market.

“Official numbers on installations and Green Deal Plans will be available at the end of June.”

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