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Government scraps energy household efficiency scheme

decc logoThe new government has scrapped the Green Deal energy efficiency programme after only 10,000 homes signed up.

The scheme was initially introduced to encourage households to install insulation and new boilers making properties more energy efficient by taking out loans. The loan repayments would supposedly be covered by the energy savings although it was later suggested this wouldn’t be feasible amongst high interest rates.

Unfortunately the scheme didn’t take off as expected and gave rise to a series of scammers hijacking the scheme to rip off households with 10% of installers being struck off for breaking the code of conduct in what we can only imagine was a Cowboy Builders type manner.

The Green Deal Cash Back scheme has also been axed which gave households money back on home energy efficiency improvements.

Unlike the loans, the cash back scheme proved hugely popular with consumers who cleared out funding within days of it being released. Decc had given away £114 million of funding through the scheme, which had been criticised as poor value for money.

Amber Rudd, the energy secretary, said:

“It’s now time for the building industry and consumer groups to work with us to make new policy and build a system that works. Together we can achieve this Government’s ambition to make homes warmer and drive down bills for 1 million more homes by 2020 – and to do so at the best value for money for taxpayers.”

A sticking point for Caroline Lucas, the Green MP:

“The government’s rhetoric – which suggests that cancelling the scheme is good for taxpayers – is deeply flawed. The government should be putting home energy efficiency at the very top of its infrastructure priorities – not cutting away at the schemes already in place.”

However,Richard Lloyd from the consumer group Which? welcomed the announcement.

“The government can’t keep throwing money at a scheme that has spectacularly failed to take off. Ministers should now work with consumers to put together a realistic new approach that is genuinely good value and helps people to save money by saving energy.”

We expect a new scheme will be put into place in the coming months having been hinted at by Rudd herself.

This announcement does not affect existing Green Deal plans taken out by householders or existing Green Deal Home Improvement Fund applications and vouchers, the DECC said.

For more information or guidance on energy efficiency, give Business Juice a call on 0800 051 5770.