The UK Green Building Council is urging government to throw a lifeline to its 'beleaguered' Green Deal scheme, as the latest statistics reveal there were just 33 new Green Deal (GD) plans signed last month.

The Council has asked for government to step in to provide greater incentives to encourage uptake, arguing that Variable Stamp Duty would nudge homeowners into taking action at the point of sale, consequential improvements would require energy efficiency work to be undertaken in building extensions and robust minimum energy standards will help to drive installations in the private rented sector.

The statistics published by the Department for Energy & Climate Change today (20 March) relate to GD up to the end of February 2014 and the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) up to the end of January 2014.

The key points include:

John Alker, director of policy & communications at UK-GBC, said: “This is by the far the worst month on record for take-up of the Green Deal, with fewer new plans now than at the very beginning of the scheme. The scheme was always going to be something of a slow burner initially, but the number of new plans is reducing to a trickle.

Roger Webb, Director of the Heating & Hotwater Industry Council described the latest statistics as ‘woeful’. 

“Green Deal is simply not delivering and its time that the government stopped prevaricating and made changes,” he said. “There is a desperate need to cut out the bureaucratic obstacles that are costing the taxpayer millions for little real levels of activity. 

“To be successful Green Deal needs to engage with the UK’s 135,000 heating installers, currently only 1500 firms support the scheme, look again at the finance option which is far too expensive and start the roll out of assessments on a street by street basis.”