The government’s much-vaunted green deal has been branded a failure by critics after it emerged that fewer than ten UK households have taken out the loans offered by the scheme to improve their energy efficiency.
More than 20,000 households have been assessed by green deal representatives since the scheme kicked off in January, but the number who have finalised loans for boilers, insulation and other energy-saving measures so far is thought to be as low as three.
The government is expected to say on Thursday that the number has risen to the “ball park” of 200 as around that number of households which have agreed but not finalised loans come out of the obligatory 14-day “cooling off” period, when they must decide whether to proceed or pull out.
However, even if all 200 finalise their preliminary arrangement, the take-up of green deal loans would be less than 1 per cent of those who have had assessments – typically at a cost to the customer of between £100 and £150.
The low take-up suggests the scheme will struggle to hit Energy Minister Greg Barker’s target of signing up at least 10,000 households by the end of the year in what he has said would be “the biggest home improvement programme since the Second World War”.
Shadow Energy Secretary Caroline Flint said: “The government said that more than 10,000 households would sign up to the green deal this year – but it looks like people are saying ‘no deal’.”