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Energy efficiency experts to promote Green Deal ‘street by street’

Teams of experts are to be sent door to door around the UK in the latest stage of the government’s Green Deal campaign

green homeThe government hopes the new tactic of sending installers around the UK’s homes will entice more people to take advantage of the flagship scheme.

The Committee on Climate Change has predicted that this approach is likely to be more effective as it ‘takes the deal’ to consumers.

The improvements on offer through the Green Deal will help the nation save energy and slash carbon emissions.

Door-to-door scheme expected to be more effective

Speaking to the Guardian, Greg Barker, conservative climate change minister, commented: “I think this could be the biggest single way of getting [Green Deal] sign-up – going street by street.”

The tactics represent a change of strategy for the government which previously relied on homeowners to seek out information and loan agreement themselves.

Take-up of the Green Deal has been slow. Four households in the UK had finalised Green Deal plans by the middle of June 2013. However, almost 40,000 assessments had been carried out and at least 240 households were in the process of finalising loans.

Government putting £20m towards new initiative

The government is ploughing an extra £20 million for the new street by street scheme. Local councils will be able to send their own assessors and installers to the area, and companies will be able to save money by making installations across several neighbouring properties at once.

Richer people living in the areas chosen for this door-to-door treatment will need to take out a green deal loan or put the money forward upfront. However, those on lower incomes or who have properties that are harder to treat will have access to subsidies.

20,000 homes to be treated by the end of 2014

It is hoped that 20,000 homes will have been treated by the end of 2014. Councils are to retrofit “show homes” in order to encourage people to opt for the home improvements.

It is thought that small to medium-sized businesses will be particularly interested in the scheme due to the possibility of forming partnerships with local authorities to deliver the improvements.

Mr Barker commented: “I’ve been underwhelmed to date by the big six [energy suppliers] but overwhelmed by the response from SMEs.”

He added that so-called “neighbourhood warmth” – where people observe their neighbours benefiting from such schemes – would encourage others to take part.

“The big idea is making this aspirational – this is something people should want,” the minister added.

Local authorities in England will be able to bid for funding from the £20 million pot to help households in the area benefit from the deal. As a part of this they will need to propose incentives.

According to critics, it is the borrowing aspect of the scheme that is putting many people off the deal, especially with the interest rates sitting at around 8%.

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