The much-delayed government scheme to encourage Britons to switch to low-carbon heating has helped just 79 homes install renewable heat technologies in the two months since it launched, it has emerged.
Greg Barker, the climate minister, trumpeted the scheme as the “first of its kind in the world” when it was launched in April, but already there are fears it will go the way of the green deal – the government’s energy efficiency programme that achieved very low take-up.
“This is not marginal… this is a big, big scheme,” Chris Huhne, then energy and climate change secretary, said when it was unveiled in 2011. Repeatedly delayed, the scheme was finally launched on 9 April.
In its first two months of operation, 203 households applied for the subsidy to install new heating systems, according to data from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). Of those, just 79 homes have received accreditation so far.
The scheme is also open to households that have installed low-carbon heating systems in recent years. Only 2,093 of these applied for the subsidy by the end of May, with 1,075 achieving accreditation. DECC says application dates were staggered for those with legacy systems to manage demand and it anticipates a lot more applications in the summer and autumn.