Lib Dems To Re–Launch Green Deal

14 September 2013

Liberal Democrat ministers are planning to re–launch the Green Deal after an inauspicious start to the flagship energy efficiency scheme.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey used his speech at the Liberal Democrat Party Conference to back the scheme, which launched in January, stating that the scheme is “different to anything that has come before” and will be a long–term success.

The Green Deal allows householders to take out a loan to pay for energy efficient home improvement measures, from Loft Insulation to double glazing, from Cavity Wall Insulation to solar heating. The loan is then repaid through the property’s electricity bill. Under the scheme’s ‘golden rule’, the cost of repayments – which can be spread over a period up to 25 years – must not exceed the sum saved.

Davey’s vote of confidence comes after a slow take up of the Green Deal. According to Government statistics, 133 households had signed up for a Green Deal loan by the end of July, with another 266 expected to do so shortly. This comes following 58,124 Green Deal assessments.

The slow uptake has been blamed on several technical problems stemming from the scheme. Financing was not made available until July, despite the scheme officially launching in January. That launch came three months later than planned following issues with administrating the scheme.

But Davey expects the scheme to slowly make an impact.

“The Green Deal is a completely new, ambitious and long-term programme,” he stated. “It’s still early days but the results from this latest research really underline that people want to take action to make their homes warmer and more efficient, and to keep their bills down.”

Mark Bayley, chief executive of the Green Deal Finance Company, also voiced his support of the scheme, declaring: “We have a great opportunity to help people protect themselves against rising energy bills in the years ahead with our £244m funding package.

“Many people will be surprised by how much energy they could save in their home, and it makes sense for people to take a second look at Green Deal payment plans.”

It appears that those taking a look at the scheme are realising the benefits of Cavity Wall Insulation and Loft Insulation, even if they do not opt for Green Deal financing. The latest figures show that 56% of households that are assessed go on to install some kind of energy–saving measure.

Meanwhile, others are calling for the Government to offer better incentives. The UK Green Building Council has suggested offering cuts in stamp duty or council tax breaks for those utilising the scheme. The Department of Energy and Climate Change is reportedly exploring such enticements.

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