Since the launch of the Green Deal in January, the Government’s flagship energy efficiency scheme has received criticism for its arguably ineffective roll out of the scheme and the slow uptake of efficiency measures by customers.

Despite today’s announcement marking a significant breakthrough for the scheme, it will provide little confidence in meeting the 10,000 sign-ups Climate Change minister Greg Barker hopes to have by the end of 2013.

However, the figures are showing an increase in interest with 419 Green Deal Plans in the system for individual properties at the end of July, compared to 306 at the end of June.

Of these, 132 households had signed up to the Green Deal, while 286 had obtained a quote from a Green Deal provider.

Assessments also saw a sharp increase, with 58,124 lodged by the end of July, up from 44,479 at the end of June.

Barker, said: “This ambitious long-term programme is still in its initial months, but over 58,000 Green Deal assessments shows genuine consumer interest and we expect continued steady growth as we go into the winter.

Recently commenting on the Green Deal’s slow up-take, MP Shadow energy minister Luciana Berger, said: “The fact that over 99% of people who had a Green Deal assessment didn’t want to take out a package should be a wake-up call for the government.”

Last month, the Government announced a £20m Green Deal Communities scheme to help local authorities drive the delivery of the Green Deal.

Under the new proposals from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), local authorities in England will be able to bid for funding from the £20m scheme to help households benefit from the Green Deal on a street-by-street or area basis.

However, the Institute for Sustainability said the Green Deal will only succeed through action by the commercial sector and that in addition to allowing the Green Deal time to gain momentum, the Government should act as a facilitator rather than leader of the movement.

Speaking to edie, head of resource efficient buildings at the Institute for Sustainability, Terry McGivern said: “The Government needs to encourage solutions that deliver the results wanted from the scheme but to expect them to transform the market is unrealistic, as it’s too large an issue. It has to come from action by the industry and usually that comes from commercial opportunity, it doesn’t come through a sense of obligation unless it’s a legislative obligation”.

Leigh Stringer

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