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Green Deal regarded as complicated for homeowners

The latest Green Deal bulletin underlines the need for a simpler energy efficiency package from government with a boiler scrappage scheme at its heart, says OFTEC, the Oil Firing Technical Association.

Six months after the government’s flagship scheme was launched, new figures have shown that there is not one single live plan in progress, with just four ‘pending’ installations. Although almost 40,000 assessments have been undertaken, only 241 households have confirmed they want to proceed with financing.

However 5,118 Green Deal Cashback vouchers have been issued to householders who have had a Green Deal assessment, but haven’t opted to apply for a Green Deal loan. Most of these vouchers have been used against the cost of boiler replacements.

OFTEC director general Jeremy Hawksley said: “the take up of the voucher scheme shows that homeowners clearly want to upgrade their old boilers but don’t necessarily want to burden themselves with a loan. By upgrading to a modern condensing boiler it’s usually possible to make very significant savings, both to energy costs and carbon emissions, so it’s not surprising that consumers find this option attractive. This has been shown clearly by the success of the boiler scrappage scheme in Northern Ireland where over 4,000 new boilers have been fitted since the initiative was introduced over nine months ago. What we really need is a similar scheme here.”

OFTEC offers Green Deal accreditation for its registered technicians and is supportive of the government’s aspirations to improve energy efficiency. However, it is concerned that the complexity of Green Deal is likely to put off many homeowners. Most new boilers are bought as distress purchases.

OFTEC believes that a simpler scheme that allows homeowners to claim after a new boiler has been installed, and does not require other energy efficiency measures to be carried out, would be much more popular than the present arrangements.

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