Pilot scheme in Sutton was unsuccessful

Almost half of homeowners who expressed interest in a Green Deal pilot scheme in a London borough subsequently turned down the opportunity, despite the offer of a 40% grant.

Nearly 60 householders out of the 126 who received an energy audit as part of the trial in the borough of Sutton said no, citing that they believed long-term savings would be lower
than expected.

The scheme was run by B&Q, the London borough of Sutton and consultant BioRegional and was carried out during 2010 and 2011.

A total of 400 households contacted organisers responding to advertisements posted in the local press and online but not all went ahead with energy audits.

Of the 67 that took up the scheme, organisers found most were not primarily motivated by financial incentives, with only 39% opting for the best value payback period.

A third of the households opted for the 25-year loan package, which meant repayments would actually exceed fuel bills. Some of the customers also chose to invest more in improvements because they expected fuel prices to continue to rise, the researchers said.

Of the consumers that took up the deal, the average amount invested per household was £13,000, greater than the £10,000 figure expected by the organisers.

The Green Deal is the government’s scheme to encourage homeowners and businesses to upgrade their buildings by installing energy-saving improvements at no up-front cost.

Repayments are made from savings made on a customer’s energy bills.