Landlords’ disillusion growing over Green Deal, claim

The National Landlords Association says there is increasing disillusion in the private rented sector about the Green Deal.

Speaking at the Utility Week Green Deal Forum, chief executive officer Richard Lambert said: “The NLA has supported the Green Deal throughout because it is the first energy efficiency policy that has been designed with a real appreciation of the private-rented sector. That’s why landlords were initially so receptive to the idea.

“But we now see an arc of disillusion in landlords’ changing view of the Green Deal which could undermine the whole initiative.”

Lambert’s remarks come as the latest figures reveal that only a dozen home owners have successfully completed the full Green Deal process and had energy efficiency measures installed.

By the end of July, just one Green Deal package had been completed, with 132 signed up to the scheme, with admin and marketing costs of the scheme adding up to over £16m by that time.

The latest figures show there have now been a total of 72,210 Green Deal assessments completed during the first seven months of the scheme, and the Green Deal Finance Company has insisted that there is more take-up in the pipeline.

Mark Bayley, chief executive of the Green Deal Finance Company, said: “We have already agreed £1.1m of Green Deal plans subject to successful installation, and we are processing a further £1.6m of applications for plans.

“People need to take a second look at Green Deal payment plans – they give protection against rising energy prices. Our loans are accessible, affordable, predictable.

“The Green Deal offers a great way of protecting against rising energy bills in the years ahead, so it is good for the customer and good for the country – it’s about energy efficiency at home.”

The National Landlords Association last did research among its members on the Green Deal during the second half of June, when it found that 37% of members were considering taking up the scheme (down from nearly two-thirds in the first quarter of the year).

Of those landlords not planning to take up the Green Deal, over half doubted their tenants would agree to the loan – tenants being the ones to repay it; 47% said their properties were already energy efficient; 24% were worried that the Green Deal loan would reduce the value of the property should they sell; and 10% did not understand the scheme.

Lambert said: “I still believe that we can make the Green Deal a success, but that requires everyone to face up to the reality of the impact the delays and problems of the past year have had and make a concerted effort to turn things around.

“We need successful completed projects to prove it works. They will only happen if the legal and financial framework is clear, straightforward and makes the money available.”

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