The Green Deal scheme has been labelled a “disappointing failure” in a report compiled by a committee of MPS. Recommendations made for future programmes aimed at increasing energy efficiency, include implementing council tax reductions and lower stamp duty fees.
Energy Secretary Ed Davey has responded to the report, saying council tax discounts for those who carry out improvements will appear on his party’s 2015 manifesto. He added that the target is to “improve the energy efficiency of 1 million homes by March 2015 – and we’re on track.”
Green Deal was ‘flawed’
The committee highlighted the low sign up rate as one of the key indicators of the scheme’s failure. Speaking on the issue the committee stated: “With such extremely low levels of take-up eighteen months into the life of the policy, the Green Deal has so far been a failure.”
It was hoped that the Green Deal would encourage millions of people to look at improving the energy efficiency rating of their homes.
According to the committee the Green Deal was badly planned and inefficiently implemented. The report also states that the scheme was poorly communicated.
An extract from the committee’s report reads: “Rather than facilitating access to energy efficiency measures and creating momentum in the market, the Green Deal has caused frustration and confusion for both consumers and the supply chain. The first eighteen months of the Green Deal have been largely wasted.”
Few homes signed up to original scheme
The original Green Deal launched back in 2013 and was originally promoted as the scheme which would drive the installation of energy efficient improvement in homes across the UK.
The scheme provided loans to those looking to fund the cost of upgrading their homes, including the installation of more energy efficient boilers and solid wall insulation.
The initial loan was expected to be covered by the energy savings obtained thanks to the energy efficient installations. However, the scheme failed to meet expectations and the number of households which signed up was much lower than the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) had hoped for. Fewer than 4,000 homes had signed up by July 2014.
A follow up initiative, entitled the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF), launched in June 2014 and offered up to £7,600 worth of grants to homes fitting energy efficient improvements.
The GDHIF proved more successful in terms of uptake and the £120m allocated for the scheme ran out in a matter of weeks.