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Green Deal assessments spurring energy-saving action

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New government figures appear to support ministers' claims that Green Deal assessments are "inspiring" energy efficiency behaviour among consumers, despite the sluggish uptake of the scheme.

Research launched today by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) shows 56% of homes undergoing assessments by the end of June have already installed at least one energy saving measure.

The data comes from a suvey of 900 of the 44,000 homes that had Green Deal assessments by that date.

It also finds six per cent were in the process of having instalments and 19 per cent intended to install something.

More positively for the government, nearly one quarter of those planning to install measures said they would take out a Green Deal finance package, which have yet to take off with consumers.

Just 133 households have signed up for a Green Deal finance package since the scheme launched in January and while new figures released on Thursday are likely to show growing interest, uptake will probably remain well off track of the 10,000 deals that Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker had hoped would be completed this year.

Critics have blamed the high interest rates offered by the Green Deal Finance Company, claiming they have deterred people wishing to take out a loan to cover the cost of the new energy efficiency measures.

But the government has consistently maintained many homeowners are choosing to fund their own energy efficiency measures after receiving an initial Green Deal assessment.

Barker said the figures showed the benefits of the Green Deal, beyond the finance package uptake figures. “This new research further demonstrates that most people are finding Green Deal assessments to be helpful. It also underlines the desire to save money on energy bills as a main motivator for having an assessment,” he said.

“The Green Deal is a long-term programme but the evidence is already showing that people are increasingly acting to improve their homes.”

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey also defended the slow start to the scheme, arguing it would take time to get off the ground. “The Green Deal is a completely new, ambitious and long-term programme. It’s still early days but the results from this latest research really underline that people want to take action to make their homes warmer and more efficient, and to keep their bills down.”

This article first appeared in Business Green

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