The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has conducted new research into the government's flagship energy scheme, the Green Deal, and how it is helping homes across the country.
Since it was introduced earlier this year, the initiative has come under mass criticism for low take-up rates and the lack of confidence which consumers have in the loans. An overly complicated system, high interest rates and a lack of public knowledge have all been attributed to the Green Deal's lack of success.
However, the DECC has said that Green Deal assessments are, in fact, effective agents of change. Research from the government body showed that 80 per cent of households who have had an assessment have now installed at least one piece of energy efficient equipment, are in the process of doing so, or intend to.
Furthermore, the report revealed that 56 per cent of households who have had an assessment have already installed at least one carbon reducing measure to their property.
Some 78 per cent of people who have been a part of the Green Deal process described the experience as "highly useful", while 72 per cent said they would recommend that friends and family do the same.
One of the reasons for the lack of uptake, as discovered by the DECC, was the high interest rates associated with the scheme. While loans are seen as expensive, with 7.9 per cent interest on a £5,000 loan for up to 20 years, the amount of money saved on energy bills and the fact that the feed-in tariff can still be accessed when using the Green Deal can help to offset this cost.
The Green Deal Finance Company has also recently set-out to reassure customers that the loans are some of the best on the market, and will provide long-term savings.
Energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey said: “Green Deal assessments are proving to be extremely valuable and are leading to householders investing in energy saving measures.
“It’s clear that Green Deal assessments are helping people to make their homes more energy efficient. This is hugely encouraging and exactly what the Green Deal is designed to do.”