The UK Government is being urged to lower the interest rate for the Green Deal to make it more attractive to consumers.
The call from the UK Green Building Council (GBC) comes a year after the launch of the Government’s flagship energy efficiency policy which has suffered low take-up.
Although more than 100,000 assessments have been carried out, less than 1,500 households have signed Green Deal plans and under 500 homes have actually installed energy saving measures using the finance, it claims.
Under the scheme, householders can borrow cash to install efficient boilers, double glazing and cavity and loft insulation.
UK-GBC believes that although the interest rate – currently 8-10% – is not the main issue preventing consumers from signing up to the scheme, lower rates could boost uptake. It suggests the Government to allow some flexibility, which would reduce the interest rate and give householders the choice to repay loans more quickly and cut the overall amount paid.
Paul King, Chief Executive of the UK-GBC is calling the Government to make energy efficiency a “top national infrastructure priority” and help consumers to “permanently” cut their energy bills.
He added: “While the Green Deal is the cornerstone of the UK’s retrofit policy, it has so far massively under delivered. Government has to step in to create incentives that encourage homes into taking action and be prepared to prioritise capital spending on energy efficiency. Underwriting the Green Deal – as Government has done with Help to Buy – would provide a huge shot in the arm for the retrofit industry.”
Last month DECC said it would make the scheme “more straightforward and less time-consuming” to boost uptake.