Green Deal Going Ahead With 1000 Upgrades
By Anne Lewis-Schneider
The Green Deal, which aims at installing solar panels and loft insulations, has more than 1,000 households committing to the upgrades in the month of October. This is an increase over the previous month of 219 households in the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) scheme to improve energy efficiency in homes. To date, just over 200 installations have been completed under this initiative with a further 360 quotations being accepted for work to be done. More than 500 homes are waiting for installations to begin. Figures quoted by the DECC say that 101,851 assessments have been done under the Green Deal initiative to date.
The process would appear to be rather drawn out, with households having to ask for assessments to see if they qualify for assistance, after which a quote is given and then there is a further waiting period before installation can be planned. Charity Director Caroline Abrahams from Age UK points out a definite lack of interest in the scheme. Research done by the charity has shown that almost 70% of the aged would not commit to the Green Deal although many believe that they would benefit from having their homes upgraded.
Renewable Energy Foundation director Dr John Constable has pointed out the disparity of the amount of assessments done to deals signed, and he said that households were finding it too costly. He pointed out that 0.5% of assessments done resulted in a Green Deal being accepted, which may suggest that consumers are just not seeing the benefit of this deal, and the recoverability of costs through energy savings are not evident.
Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) which is another scheme available has already seen almost 304,000 installations completed by Septemberís end. This scheme targets loft and wall cavity insulation as well as new boilers. Prime Minister David Cameron has said that he wishes to roll back on the green levies being charged and ministers are considering the feasibility of adding these levies to general taxation.
UK Green Building Council has said that it is pleased to see Green Deals being accepted, but chief executive Paul King has also remarked that ECO seems to be leaps and bounds ahead and questions the wisdom of axing green levies. The Energy Saving Trust has pointed out the effect that the value of a small investment can produce on saving on energy bills.
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