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Green Deal lacks householder appeal

Even when offered for free, householder appetite for retro-fitting energy-efficiency products is limited, according to a new report from social housing provider Affinity Sutton.
Affinity Sutton conducted a pilot study, FutureFit, on 102 of its 56,000 properties to assess the effectiveness of the Government’s proposed Green Deal, due to be launched next October.

FutureFit, a two year £1.2 M national retrofitting project, which investigated what energy savings could be, achieved trialling a low (£6.5K) medium (£10k) and high (£25k) package of energy efficiency works.

Under the Green Deal, residents would be given cash to retrofit their homes, the cost of which would be repaid from savings on energy bills.

However, the Sutton study found that just 4.8% of respondents were prepared to sign up for the works. There was a further 23% dropout from sign-up to works completion.

Affinity Sutton has said there must be an intense awareness programme to make residents take note. Training was also required to address a lack of technical skills and the report also said that the energy savings would not be enough to meet the government’s 2050 carbon reduction promises.

David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, said: “The Government will also need to invest in promoting and marketing the benefit of the Green Deal. The FutureFit experience has shown that many residents are simply not interested in the retrofit agenda or having works undertaken to their homes – even when they are free. The answer to this must be a strategic approach which promotes warmer homes at a lower cost.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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