Homeowners remain unconvinced by the Green Deal, which offers loans to cover the cost of any energy efficiency installations recommended by the scheme’s assessors.
The idea behind the scheme is that the cost of any improvements will be covered by the resulting reduction in energy bills.
Measures which can be included under the Green Deal include the installation of double glazing, loft insulation and more energy-efficient boilers.
Reluctant Brits shun long-term loans
One of the potential issues with the Green Deal is that, should a homeowner decide to sell his or her home, the loan would be passed on to new buyers.
There has also been criticism over the sales strategy employed by certain marketing agencies which allegedly cold call people in their homes.
Some have also questioned the credentials of the Green Deal assessors, whose services range from between £100 to £300.
The Green Deal and fuel poverty
Speaking about the sign-up figures to the Daily Mail, Caroline Abrahams, director at Age UK, said: “With the cold weather nearly upon us, it is hugely disappointing that these latest statistics show painfully slow progress with the Green Deal.
“With projections showing that fuel poverty rates are likely to rise, the government must seriously explore using new carbon tax revenues to insulate fuel-poor homes against the spiralling cost of energy.
“In the run-up to the next election all the main parties need to show they have a clear plan to deal with fuel poverty once and for all.”
Some positive figures
Despite a low adoption rate, research from the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has revealed that 71,210 homes have had a Green Deal assessment carried out since the scheme launched at the start of this year.
A survey carried out amongst a section of these, found that 78% found the assessment useful and a further 82% were confident in the recommendations.
Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey, recently defended the scheme and said: “Green Deal assessments are proving to be extremely valuable and are leading to householders investing in energy saving measures.
“Some people are using Green Deal finance; others are paying in different ways. And of course people should do whatever works best for them.”
Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker agreed, and underlined the long-term nature of the Green Deal scheme.