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Government action call as Green Deal uptake slumps

The number of new Green Deal plans in February fell almost 90 per cent in four months, according to new government figures.

The number of additional Green Deal plans in February 2014 fell to 33 from 305 in November 2013, according to statistics from the Department for Energy and Climate Change.

The fall prompted the UK Green Building Council to call on the government to “throw a lifeline” to the beleaguered scheme.

A cumulative total of 1,754 green deal plans were in progress in February with measures installed in 883 homes.

But the number of assessments carried out in February was the highest of any month so far and 18 per cent up on January.

The number of energy-efficiency measures installed using the Energy Companies Obligation and Green Deal cashback vouchers rose in January following a slump in December, but was well behind the numbers for November. The number of Green Deal measures installed has been falling each month since October.

UK-GBC wants the government to vary stamp duty levels to reflect the energy efficiency of a property, to require energy-efficiency improvements to be made when homes are extended and to introduce minimum energy performance standards for private rented homes.

John Alker, director of policy and communications at UK-GBC, said: “This is by the far the worst month on record for take-up of the Green Deal, with fewer new plans now than at the very beginning of the scheme.

“The scheme was always going to be something of a slow burner initially, but the number of new plans is reducing to a trickle.

“The government has already had its wake-up call, it is now crunch time. It needs to step in to reduce the cost of the finance plans, strengthen and make permanent tax incentives, and make energy efficiency a pre-requisite for anyone getting an extension this summer.”

The government extended the cashback scheme last month and is considering further changes to the Green Deal after energy secretary Ed Davey admitted that take up had been “disappointing”.