The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has published the latest statistical release highlighting the positive uptake of the Green Deal scheme so far.
This month’s release presents the third set of statistics on the Green Deal for the domestic sector and the Energy Company Obligation (ECO). This release includes summary figures on the number of GD Assessments, the GD supply chain and information on ECO brokerage, all to the end of April 2013.
The Green Deal launched on 28 January 2013 in England and Wales and on 25 February in Scotland. ECO started on 1 January 2013 for Great Britain.
The key points highlighted in the new report are firstly, that 18,816 Green Deal Assessments had been lodged to date (Chart 1), up from 9,294 at end of March (with 9,522 in April alone, compared to 7,491 in March and 1,729 in February). Secondly, 152 Green Deal Assessor Organisations and the 1,274 Green Deal Advisors they employ had been accredited, up from 108 and 1,003 at end March respectively. Finally, The figures also confirm that the rollout of subsidised energy efficiency improvements for fuel poor households is continuing to accelerate through the ECO scheme with £85.5 million worth of contracts awarded through the ECO brokerage system, compared to £68.9 million at end March. This momentum with which the Green Deal energy efficiency scheme is growing is raising hopes that the initiative is finally gathering pace.
Climate Change Minister, Greg Barker hailed the new figures as evidence that the Green Deal market was “showing healthy signs of growth”.
“It’s still early days for this long-term initiative, but this is a clear sign of growing interest from consumers, with people keen to improve the efficiency of their homes to make them warmer and help save money on bills,” he said in a statement. “It’s fantastic to see householders and businesses cottoning on to the benefits and rising to the challenge.”
However, questions remain over the number of households that are converting their Green Deal Assessments, which offer advice on how to improve the energy efficiency of a property, into full Green Deal makeovers that see households take out financing packages to cover the cost of recommended improvements.
Richard Griffiths, Policy and Campaigns Consultant at the UK Green Building Council, said the initial take-up of Green Deal assessments was “encouraging”. But he added that the industry was “now reaching the point where we must surely start to see a significant number of these turn into Green Deal plans”.
“Early reports suggest that this is starting to happen, but not yet at a rate commensurate with the challenge we face in retrofitting the UK’s homes,” he said in a statement.
“The real test will come in a couple of months’ time, when the DECC-funded assessments have worked through the system. Will the rate of assessments we have seen so far be maintained, and can we be hopeful that a reasonable proportion of those who received free assessments will turn out to be genuinely serious customers for the scheme? If the answer turns out to be ‘no’ to either of these questions, the government should commit to acting on the lessons learned from the first six months and step in to introduce measures to drive demand for retrofit.”
According to anecdotal evidence, the first Green Deal packages have now been awarded, but official figures on the scale of the take-up will not be announced until June 27.
Government sources are counseling that adoption of the scheme is likely to build over the time and an initial surge in Green Deal packages is not necessarily expected.