Government's green deal loans 'ineffective' at targeting fuel poverty

2nd December, 2013

Current government green deal schemes are "dramatically under-performing" and "ineffective" at targeting fuel poverty, a new report has warned.

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) finds that only 813 households are partaking in the green deal loan to improve the efficiency of their homes, despite the fact that many families are struggling to keep up with energy costs. 

In response, the think tank has published a report, Help to Heat, which sets out a cost-neutral policy framework with suggestions of how to combat energy affordability, carbon emissions and the UK's reliance on gas imports.

The green deal scheme, launched in January 2013, enables households to take out loans for energy efficiency improvements.

The government at the time projected 130,000 loans would be taken out in 2013, however, IPPR finds that even achieving 1 per cent of the projection has proved to be difficult.

The report argues that the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) policy, which provides subsidises for improvements to low-income households and high-cost efficiency changes not covered by the green deal, is also ineffective at targeting fuel poverty.

IPPR, in its report published on Wednesday, calls on the government to make improved efficiency and substantial bill reductions available to thousands more households through free energy efficiency assessments and low-cost financing options.

The think tank suggests that the government could also improve supply chains, encourage greater competition and implement effective targeting of fuel poverty.

The authors of the report believe that targeting areas with above-average fuel poverty first would bring numerous benefits, including 230 of annual bill savings for each fuel-poor household in receipt of energy efficiency improvements.

Source: The Information Daily

The Autumn Statement will be live streamed during a policy debate: "What future for ECO?" at the Retrofit Summit on 5 December at the Business Design Centre, London. Jonathan Reynolds MP, Shadow Minister for Climate Change will start the debate with a keynote address, sharing his views and ideas for retrofitting the nation's buildings. The policy debate will include industry experts from the likes of Willmott Dixon, Places for People and Npower.

To view the full speaker programme, CLICK HERE.

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