British Gas ramps up Green Deal promotion

August 21, 2013 by  
Filed under Solar Energy Tips

British Gas’s figures painted a different – and slightly more optimistic –
picture. It has trained 300 assessors to undertake home inspections, the
biggest of the teams operated by utilities firms, and said that by August 16
they had visited 13,000 properties. British Gas said that although its team
had been conducting assessments since January, the finance element of the
arrangement was available only since May 17. And since that date 450
households had signed up – outweighing the DECC’s figure, although remaining
small.

A British Gas spokesman said: “The scheme is new and we always thought it
would take time to build, but we are now going back to contact many of the
people who had assessments before the financing arrangements were in place.”

Currently a sweetener
is place
for those signing up in the form of “cashback” of up
to £1,000, but this available fund – about £100m has been pledged in total –
will be exhausted as applicants increase in number. The DECC said 7,461
cashback vouchers had been issued. Most were for boiler replacements, it
said.

Critics say the entire Green Deal is flawed as already debt-laden home owners
are put off the idea of further borrowing. Because a charge is placed
against the property there are also anxieties about whether the future
saleability of the home could be affected.

The loans are operated by householders’ energy suppliers, and the rate at
which the loan is repaid is supposed to reflect the savings achieved by the
installation – which could be cavity wall insulation, lagging, solar panels
and so on. In other words, in theory at least, the bills paid by households
shouldn’t increase over the term – up to 25 years – of the arrangement. But
once the term is over and the loan repaid, the benefits should be felt in
much reduced consumption.

The figures in this article have been updated following its original
publication.

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