Statistics show 36 households signed up to the Green Deal by the end of June but the figure still leaves the government a long way off the target of 10,000 Green Deal financing packages by the end of the year.
The slow start to the scheme had been blamed on the fact only a few companies offered full Green Deal services during the first six months of the scheme. For example, British Gas was the only “Big Six” energy supplier to offer a full Green Deal service during the scheme’s early months.
Critics have warned that without more incentives and lower interest rates take up of the scheme isn’t likely to reach the level required to meet the government’s targets.
The figures show 6,224 cashback vouchershad been issued to the end of June, with a total budget committed of around £1.83m. Of these, 3,449 had been used with the vast majority using the vouchers to help towards the cost of boiler replacements. Just five vouchers have been used for solid wall insulation, nine for loft insulation, and four for cavity wall insulation. This data suggests many people are using their own finance to pay for measures recommended by Green Deal assessments, avoiding the need for financing packages but still accessing the government’s cashbackincentives.
However, Greg Barker, Minister for Energy and Climate Change, hailed the figures as a steady increase and emphasised that it is still very early days for the Green Deal. Over 100,000 homes already have measures installed and innovative private finance is beginning to flow, the Green Deal is an ambitious long-term programme that is just getting started.
The figures show that there are now 226 Green Deal Assessor organisations and 66 Green Deal providers and Mark Bayley, chief executive of the Green Deal Finance Company, said he expected a further 50 companies “of all shapes and sizes” to be offering approved Green Deal services by the end of the year.
Bayley also rejected criticisms that the interest rate on Green Deal loans was deterring the public from the scheme, saying 83 per cent of the UK would be eligible for credit under the Green Deal, offering finance to eight million people who would not be considered by private finance.
The government has also released figures for the subsidised ECO component of the scheme, which targets fuel-poor and hard to treat households. By the end of May, 115,723 measures were installed under ECO, half of which were loft insulation and around a third of which were cavity wall insulation’s.