Amount of work under Green Deal and ECO retrofit schemes hits its lowest level in over year

Insulation and worker

The amount of work under the government’s two flagship retrofit schemes hit its lowest level in over year in June.

According to the latest Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) figures, the total number of energy efficiency measures installed under the Green Deal and its sister scheme the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) fell to 32,142 in June - the lowest level of activity under the two schemes since April 2013.

The figures also showed that just 25,437 homes received measures under the retrofit schemes in June 2014 - the lowest number since March 2013, just three months after the schemes were launched.

John Alker, director of policy at the UK Green Building Council, said the low figures showed the industry was experiencing “Groundhog Day”.

He said the government needed to “pull all the levers at its disposal to get the retrofit market off the ground”.

“That either requires an element of compulsion, far more attractive nudges and incentives, or a lot more cash - preferably all three,” he said.

Work under ECO accounted for over 90% of the measures installed as it has done since the schemes launched in January 2013.

However, the number of measures installed under ECO fell for the third month in a row to 30,550 - the lowest level since April 2013.

Under the government’s planned changes to ECO, the energy firms are set to rack up extra credit for work done under the scheme before the end of March 2014 - but the number of measures installed each month has fallen ever since that deadline passed.

The figures also showed that activity though 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, remained low.

Just £1.9m of ECO work was traded through the brokerage system in July, down from a high of £57.7m in November last year.

There was some positive news in the figures for the energy efficiency retrofit industry.

There were 458 signed and completed Green Deal plans last month – an all time monthly high – with the total number of live Green Deals – where the work has been installed and the household is now paying back the cost through their energy bills - hitting 1,815.

There were 37,194 Green Deal assessments undertaken in July, the highest number of any month since the scheme was launched in January 2013, and 28% up on the number in June.

This follows a rush from consumers to sign up to the schemes stimulated by the government’s subsidy scheme, the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF), which was forced to close to new applicants last month, just six weeks after opening, because nearly all its £120m budget had been allocated.

The figures also showed that although the number of applications for the government’s incentive scheme rose to 21,464 - equating to a £117m of committed budget - only 449 payments totaling £2.3m had been made.

DECC has been contacted for comment.

Green Deal – July figures

Assessments: 37,194 (+28%)

Signed Green Deals: 230 (Total: 891 - a rise of 26% on previous month)

Completed Green Deals:  228 (Total: 1,815 - a rise of 14% on previous month)