Green Deal Cashback Scheme 'In Tatters'

Green Deal Cashback Scheme 'In Tatters'

Not a single household has yet signed up for a flagship coalition energy efficiency scheme despite a £1,000 cashback offer ministers said would get it off to a "flying start".

Green Deal is designed to help homeowners make energy saving home improvements to their properties from January.

The scheme covers the upfront costs of improvements such as insulation and new boilers and allows homeowners to pay the money back through savings on bills.

Households have had since October 1 to have their home assessed for improvements.

However, climate change minister Greg Barker has admitted that no home assessments "have yet been lodged on the register".

Labour said the admission meant the Green Deal scheme was in tatters.

But the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) blamed the lack of formal applications on people waiting until nearer January, when building work can actually start, before getting involved.

Energy Secretary Ed Davey announced the first-come-first served £125m cashback offer last month in a bid to persuade people to sign up - with those committing to the most work offered up to £1,000.

He said the scheme would provide an "unprecedented choice" for consumers wanting to make their homes more energy efficient.

"This cashback offer will help get the Green Deal off to a flying start. It really is a great offer - the more work households have done, the more energy they stand to save and the more cash they receive," he said.

In response to a parliamentary question from shadow climate change minister Luciana Berger, Mr Barker said: "While we understand a number of appointments for the in-property assessments have been made, no assessments have yet been lodged on the register."

A DECC spokeswoman insisted the Green Deal was "coming alive" and it was pleased with the progress made so far.

"We understand that assessments are generally being scheduled to take place closer to the date at which a plan can be signed and the work can begin - this makes perfect sense," she said.