Official statistics show a jump in interest in the energy efficiency retrofit scheme in March

Heat sensitive house picture

The number of Green Deal assessments conducted last month jumped to a record high of 25,138.

Figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change published last week showed the number of assessments - the first stage in the process of taking out a Green Deal - conducted in March were over 7,000 more than the previous record that was set in February.

The average number of assessments over the six months to the end of February was 15,314.

The number of customers receiving a Green Deal plan also bounced back in March to 246 from a record low of 33 in February.

The total number of signed Green Deal plans rose slightly to 1,468 by the end of March.

Richard Twinn, policy and public affairs officer at the UK Green Building Council, said it had been “an encouraging month for the Green Deal” following a “ slump” in February.

But he added: “The leap in assessments will largely have been down to increased Energy Companies Obligation activity [the Green Deal’s sister scheme] as the energy companies capitalised on increased credits for delivering carbon reductions by the end of March. So unfortunately this surge may prove to be short lived and is unlikely to continue in next month’s statistics.”

A spokesperson for DECC said the level of assessments showed “real appetite for energy efficiency”.

She added: “Around 580,00 homes are warmer and more energy efficient thanks to the Green Deal and ECO.”

The ECO has continued to be the driving force in the energy efficiency retrofit market and funded instalation of energy efficiency measures in 60,866 homes in March while the Green Deal financed 137.

The statistics also showed that the number of people claiming cash back under the government’s £125m incentive scheme for the Green Deal continues to be low and that the scheme has now paid out just £4m. The figures showed 478 vouchers were cashed in March.

Despite the scheme’s slow start the number of firms in the market continued to increase. At the end of March there were 6,527 firms registered as either Green Deal installers, providers or assessors up from 6,222 at the end of February.