Green Deal measures on the rise but scheme still needs 'ramping up'
The Government has recorded 458 completed Green Deal plans as of the end of November, up from 219 the previous month, according to the latest figures.
Of the 1,478 total Green Deal plans being processed, 448 new plans were recorded, 572 were pending, where the customer has signed and measures are being carried out, and 458 were completed.
Pending Green Deal plans were down from the previous month for the first time since the scheme launched - 572 from 594 in October. Green Deal assessments saw a sharp increase, reaching 117,454 as of end of November, up from 101,855 in October.
Figures on the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO), which funds energy efficiency improvements worth around £1.3bn a year, is "at a lag" of a month due to the time taken for information to be reported and verified, according to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).
Therefore, data on measures installed under ECO is presented until the end of October 2013, which show that 327,719 properties benefitted from one or more ECO measures being installed up to the end of October.
Despite this increase, ECO has been rolled-back by the Government in efforts to reduce green charges from energy bills. Environmental groups and many in the energy efficiency industry have branded the approach "short-sighted", with some suggesting it could put green jobs and investment at risk.
The Government has also come under fire for its implementation and delivery of the Green Deal. High interest rates attached to the scheme's financing platform and the little promoting of the scheme have been blamed for its slow up take. Prior to the launch of the scheme, the Government had expected around 10,000 sign ups in its first year.
UK Green Building Council chief executive Paul King said: "It's no secret that the Green Deal has had a rough ride in 2013 - with fewer than 500 homes having measures installed through the scheme, it is not the Christmas present Government will have been hoping for.
"With the reduced ambition of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) it is now even more essential that the Green Deal is ramped up. The proposed Stamp Duty and landlord incentives must drive households into taking up energy efficiency in 2014," added King.
In October, construction and support services company Carillion said it will be restructuring its energy services division due to the slow uptake of the Green Deal.