As the latest Green Deal statistics show that only 12 homes have signed up to the scheme, Knauf Insulation has cautiously welcomed moves by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to widen the scope of the Green Deal cashback incentive, but warns that the proposed changes still do not go far enough.
The figures released today reveal that despite 71,210 assessments, only 12 homes have a live Green Deal plan, in which the energy efficiency measures have been installed and repayments are being made via energy bill savings. Conversely, 5,733 cashback vouchers have been paid, yet virtually all of these more than 96 per cent were for single measure boiler replacements, not the whole house retrofits the scheme was intended to deliver.
In a letter to registered cashback providers, Greg Barker, Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change, has requested feedback on proposals designed to increase uptake in the cashback scheme.
The proposed changes would allow customers to apply for the cashback without having to use a Green Deal Provider to arrange the work. However, a Green Deal Assessment would still be required and the work would have to be undertaken by a Green Deal Registered Installer.
In addition, the proposals are considering removing the requirement for an Insurance Backed Guarantee where householders are self funding the installation. Finally, the letter indicates that DECC is considering the introduction of further conditions to shift the focus of the scheme away from boiler replacements.
John Sinfield, Managing Director of Knauf Insulation Northern Europe commented: We are pleased to see that DECC is finally taking heed of industry calls to tackle the dismal levels of Green Deal take up, but we must be clear that tinkering with the scheme in this way falls far short of the major revisions needed to ensure its long term success.
So while we support the introduction of multi-measure cashbacks and the focus on tackling the building fabric with loft and cavity wall insulation where possible, the issue still remains that there is a severe lack of significant demand drivers. Real incentives to act are required, such as reduced Council Tax rates for better performing properties or variable Stamp Duty for those that achieve a certain energy efficiency standard.