But number of accredited Green Deal installers falls for the second month in a row


A record number of Green Deals were signed in October, but the number of installers in the market fell for the second moth in a row, official figures released today reveal.

The flagship energy efficiency scheme, which allows homeowners to pay for energy efficiency retrofits with a loan attached to their energy bills, has struggled to gain traction with consumers.

But figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change showed that 845 Green Deal plans were signed in October, up from a previous record of 738 in September.

However, despite the best month of sales since the government’s flagship scheme was launched in January 2013, the number of registered installer organisations fell for the second month in a row.

The figures showed there were 2,649 registered installers in October, down from a high of 2,774 in August.

The number of Green Deal assessments rose to 33,191 in October, up 12% from the 29,630 conducted in the previous month.

The figures showed there were 3,239 completed Green Deals at the end of October - meaning the retrofit work has been installed and the household is paying off the cost of the work through its energy bills - a rise of 658 on the previous month.

The figures also showed that nearly a third of vouchers applied for under the Green Deal Home Improvement fund – a cash back scheme designed to support take up of the Green Deal – had been cashed in.

The number of homes receiving energy efficiency measures through the Green Deal’s sister scheme, the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO), which subsidises the installation of energy efficiency measures, remained at a low level.

The government figures showed 18,228 homes were treated under ECO in September, the latest month for which figures were available, down from a high of 80,281 in March – when energy companies rushed to get work done before a government deadline so they could claim extra credits for that work.

The figures also revealed that in October only £3m of ECO work was traded through the ECO brokerage system, which is designed to allow smaller firms to participate in the ECO market by selling carbon abatement projects to the energy companies through a blind auction system.

Levels of ECO brokerage work have remained low since cuts to the scheme were announced last autumn. In the first ten months of 2014 £74m of work was traded through the scheme, compared with £288m over the same period of 2013.

Richard Twinn, policy officer at UK Green Building Council, said the record number of plans signed in October meant the market was “starting to see a break in the clouds for the government’s flagship energy efficiency scheme”.

He added: “But it’s not all blue skies just yet - the recent rise in plans isn’t even close to making up for the drop in energy saving measures being installed under ECO.”