First green deal plan in place

After seven months and more than 58,000 assessments just one home has completed the green deal process, reveals Decc statistics

Between 28 January and the end of July, 58,124 green deal assessments were completed, but just one domestic property has had energy-efficiency measures installed and started repaying its loan, according to the latest monthly update from the energy department.

The government’s flagship energy-efficiency programme offers homeowners and businesses the ability to finance work improving the energy efficiency of their building – such as fitting insulation or installing ground-source heat pumps – and repay the funds through savings on the property’s energy bills.

Decc data confirm, however, that uptake is low and appears to be stagnating. In July, just 16 new green deal plans were initiated, compared with 172 in June.

Of the 419 green plans in progress at the end of July, 286 plans were agreed in principle, 132 were pending awaiting the installation of measures and just one was live.

After dramatic increases in the number of assessment being completed each month over the first months of the scheme, from 1,729 in February to 12,146 in May, June and July saw the number stabilise at around 13,500 a month.

Uptake of the scheme by companies is potentially being hampered by a lack of finance. A spokesperson for the Green Deal Finance Company told the environmentalist this month that: “As far as we are aware there are no providers currently financing non-domestic green deals.”

The green deal was created to help reduce carbon emissions from the UK’s existing building stock in line with the government’s legally binding CO2 reduction targets. In 2011, buildings accounted for about 35% of the country’s total carbon footprint.

The data from Decc came as the communities department outlined its proposal to scrap the code for sustainable homes. The national standard outlines requirements for new build homes relating to energy performance, water consumption and pollution.

In launching a consultation on proposals to streamline standards for house building, potentially by incorporating them into the building regulations, the government confirms it plans to “wind down the role of the code” and put in place arrangements to ensure that contractual commitments entered into under the code can be met.

The consultation, which closes on 22 October, outlines the government’s plans to reduce the number of housing standards from more than 100 to fewer than 10 and reduce the number of pages of guidance from 1,500 to 80, in line with its drive to cut “redtape”.

Author: 

Sarah-Jayne Russell was the deputy editor of the environmentalist from March 2011 until June 2014.

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