ECA’s head of energy solutions, Bill Wright, said, ‘The 300,000 figure that the Minister is quoting can’t be an accurate reflection of the success of the Green Deal. The latest figures from DECC show that there are 57 Green Deal plans up and running at present – hardly a good return on the £3.75m the government has invested in marketing the scheme.
‘The statistic that the Minister is using is based on uptake figures for the Energy Company Obligation scheme, which funds energy efficiency improvements for those who are at risk of fuel poverty. This is a very worthy initiative, but it is not the true Green Deal.
‘The Green Deal has the potential to be a real game changer in terms of energy efficiency and reducing energy bills for consumers, but more needs to be done to encourage the public to participate. We believe the interest rates of seven per cent on the loan are too high, and serve to discourage people from getting on board with the initiative.
‘Furthermore, we feel the government needs to offer tax breaks in the form of reduced stamp duty and council tax for properties that have a Green Deal in place. This would give homeowners an additional return on investment and encourage take up on a larger scale. With a better offer in place, we would also support an increase in marketing spend for the initiative.
‘There’s a very real danger that the Green Deal could fail unless we see a tangible increase in uptake from consumers. If we lose this opportunity, we are faced with the threat of losing a vital national energy efficiency initiative. The public deserves a Green Deal that works, but big changes need to be made if it is going to become a reality.’