Blow to the Green Deal as cavity installation figures plummet 97%

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The number of people installing certain forms of insulation in their homes has plummeted - flying in the face of a flagship Government scheme designed to encourage UK residents to do more to improve their homes energy efficiency.

The Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency has released figures showing the installation of cavity wall insulation was down a staggering 97% in April, compared to the same time last year

The Green Deal was launched in January, offering energy consumers 'loans' on measures such as fitting a replacement boiler or installing loft and wall insulation into their home: All with the purpose of improving energy efficiency and cutting down carbon emissions.

However, the figures from the Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency show only 1,138 installations were fitted last month, compared to almost 50,000 in April 2012 - a figure certain to alarm the Government.

In a further blow to the Government, uptake on its previous Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP) and Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) scheme averaged out at 40,000 a month - however, the two schemes were both shelved in December 2012 in favour of the Green Deal and another Government initiative, the Energy Company Obligation (ECO).

Shadow minister for climate change, Luciana Berger, said the collapse in installations was bad news for the economy and small businesses.

She said: "Labour warned nearly a year ago that the number of cavity wall installations would plummet because of structural problems with the Green Deal.

"The fact this has now become a reality is all the more damaging."

However, the Department for Energy and Climate Change has hit back at renewed criticism of the scheme, suggesting figures surrounding the Green Deal were encouraging, with 18,000 assessments carried out so far. It also emphasised cavity wall insulation was just one of 45 measures available under the scheme.

The official figures will not be released until the end of June however.

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