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£200m cashback scheme to sweeten the Green Deal

Posted on 02 July 2012

Early adopters of the Green Deal could be able to access generous
cashback offers, under plans currently being considered by the
government.

This type of sales promotion is used as an incentive to get consumers
to buy products or services. It would means that if householders or
property owners spent some money on home improvements under the Green
Deal, a proportion of that money would be given back to them.

This would make the Green Deal a winner four times over:

customers would benefit from home improvements
they would save money on their energy bills
the value of the property would increase
and they would see some of their outlay returned.

The cash would derive from the £200m announced by chancellor George Osborne last year to attract the public to the Green Deal.

A DECC official said, "We are looking at some kind of cashback scheme that would reward people who take up Green Deal measures".

Although the details are yet to be announced, the Department of
Energy and Climate Change (DECC) says there is £30m available in the
current financial year and £170m after the beginning of April next year.

The offer will be publicised before the scheme's launch, which is in
October. Any cashback payments made would be on a once-only basis and
the offer will be time limited.

Other options under consideration as sweeteners for early adopters,
but considered to be less likely, are: reductions on council tax or
stamp duty, scrappage schemes for old equipment, as in the previously
successful boiler scrappage scheme, and a national advertising campaign.

£200m is not an insignificant amount, and should help to attract the public's attention.

Increasing popularity

The Green Deal has been under attack from critics who say that it
won't be popular. A survey of over 1,200 homeowners in the UK this week
found that 60% of respondents were unsure if they’d participate. A
further 83% said they did not know enough about the Green Deal to
commit.

The survey, by BSI, was used
by them to reinforce their view of the necessity for a Kitemark which
they are developing, for Energy Efficient Buildings, to certify Green
Deal products, advisors and installers.

BSI said that 70% of those surveyed were aware of the Kitemark as a
trusted source of environmental guidance, and over half were likely to
use Kitemark accredited products and services as it represents
independent approval. Therefore they believe that by applying the
Kitemark to their offering, Green Deal providers can increase sales.

There is no shortage of national and local businesses preparing to
offer services under the Green Deal: a recent series of roadshows run by
DECC for interested businesses was oversubscribed by five applicants to
every three places.