Very few people have signed up for the Green Deal – a new type of loan to help consumers make energy-saving home improvements – since it launched in January 2013.
Although 38,259 Green Deal Assessments have been carried out, so far only 241 people are going ahead with improvements to their home through a Green Deal loan and only four have actually signed an agreement. These figures were released today by the Department for Energy and Climate (DECC). DECC said that getting software systems and finance in place has taken more time than expected.
Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: ‘These figures reveal a worryingly slow start for the Green Deal. The government must ensure consumers have detailed information about the companies offering Green Deal finance and their packages, so they can decide whether it represents good value for them.
With rising energy prices the top consumer worry, measures that help people make their homes more energy efficient are vital to help save money on bills. However, as with any financial product, people should consider their own personal and financial circumstances, tread carefully, check the small print and shop around.’
Find out more about the Green Deal with our comprehensive guide to how it works to help you decide if it’s right for you.
About the Green Deal
The Green Deal is a loan scheme brought in by the government to help people make energy-saving home improvements. If you’re interested, a Green Deal Assessor will come to your home to assess your energy use and recommend what improvements could be made.
You will then receive a Green Deal Advice Report from the assessor outlining the suggested changes. If you decide to go ahead with the improvements you can choose to pay for these yourself, get cashback vouchers (for part of the cost) or take out a Green Deal loan.
The Green Deal loan differs from a standard loan from your bank, as it’s attached to your property rather than a person. This means you will pass it on to the next owner. In addition, repayments are made through savings on your energy bills, with a ‘Golden Rule’ in place that means, in theory, you shouldn’t pay more than you’re saving.
You don’t need to take out a Green Deal to get the cashback but do you need to have a Green Deal assessment. 5,118 cashback vouchers have been issued so far. Of these, 968 vouchers have been paid, meaning consumers have received £263,452 – mostly for boiler replacements.
If you are thinking of taking out a Green Deal finance plan, we recommend that as with any financial product you should consider all the terms carefully and shop around. Take a look at our full guide to Green Deal loans and finance.