UK homeowners applied for £2.5 million worth of support for energy improvement measures under the Green Deal in a record week for the Green Deal Finance Company (GDFC).
The company’s record-breaking week, ending 19 April, has pushed the total number of Green Deal plans both pending and live up to £45.6 million.
The renewed growth in Green Deal plans has been driven by solar PV which now accounts for around a third of measures installed under Green Deal finance, with boilers and solid wall insulation the next most popular measures.
The Green Deal has faced severe criticism during its first year as it struggled to gain traction. However, the latest figures would suggest that public are becoming familiar with the ‘pay as you save’ nature of Green Deal finance. A recent report by Mintel discovered that 26% of Brits considering installing solar PV in the next five years would look to Green Deal finance to part-fund the installation.
Bernard Hughes of GDFC told Next Energy News that criticism of the interest rate used for the loans was unfounded, stating: “It’s important to remember that headline rates need only be available to 51% of successful applicants to permit that company to claim/advertise that loans are 4% APR etc. Rates quoted for people with a normal credit history are often much higher than that.
“The strength of GDFC finance is that it’s accessible to about 80% of the UK adult population and is unsecured. Our not-for-profit status provides us with a mandate to make the funds widely available.”
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is set to publish the latest Green Deal statistics on Thursday but figures to the end of February 2015 show that there were 7,903 Green Deal plans both live and pending – a noticeable increase from a disappointing December.