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Green Deal scheme is not understood by British public

The Electrical Contractors’ Association has found that 98 per cent of Britons say they don’t fully understand the Green Deal.

A YouGov poll commissioned by the ECA saw 62 per cent of respondents say they had never heard of the initiative, which is the government’s flagship green policy.

The research also found that 53 per cent would be interested in participating once the scheme had been explained to them, with 16 per cent saying there was no interest at all.

The findings will galvanise those lobbying for more government funding for publicising the scheme.

The Green Deal launches on 28 January, and aims to incentivise energy efficiency improvements in homes and businesses by ensuring that bills are equal to or cheaper than what the owner currently pays, and that no upfront costs are paid.

Work is to be paid for over time through electricity bills, with payments designed to ensure long-term savings outweigh the costs.

ECA Group CEO Steve Bratt said the survey demanded “urgent action” from government and others to boost public awareness and interest.

“The public seem totally oblivious to it. It could be a massive opportunity for the public and the big and small businesses who want to take part.”

“However,even when the Green Deal is outlined to them, only around half of respondents seem interested despite the prospect of lower energy bills. This suggests much more needs to be done to communicate the benefits to customers.”

The Green Deal is backed by a government marketing campaign, but senior Department of Energy and Climate Change figures have said that advertising the scheme is not the sole responsibility of government.

Central government is also offering an “early adopter” incentive, offering up to £1,000 cashback on energy upgrades to the first customers.

“The public are crying out for ways to get their energy bills under control”, Mr Bratt continued. “The fact that they don’t understand that the Green Deal can do this is extremely worrying.”

“This is potentially a very good initiative, but it will fail unless the public are switched on to it.”