Households are to be offered a month off from paying council tax in return for signing up to the government’s green deal scheme.
The incentive is one of several trials the government is running to assess how to get people involved in its flagship energy efficiency scheme when it launches next year.
The upfront incentive trial, which is being run with Homebase, will offer various incentives including the council tax holiday and vouchers for Homebase and Argos.
Other trials will offer energy efficiency products at a discount if households club together to buy them, or community rewards. Two further trials will look at how presenting information differently to consumers can make them more likely to take advantage of the green deal.
Under the scheme, households will be able to get equipment to improve the energy efficiency of their home installed free of charge. They will repay the costs over time using savings from fuel bills, with the repayments linked to the property rather than the individuals.
The trials are explained in a report, Behaviour change and energy use, from the Cabinet Office’s behavioural insights team.
This outlines a range of ways in which the green deal could be made more appealing, including setting up a network of green deal champions ahead of its launch in October 2012, changes to energy performance certificates, revised guidance on energy efficiency, and forthcoming work with consumer organisation Which? to examine what advice householders find most useful.
The paper also looks at the renewable heat incentive, and how this might work to encourage households to replace fossil fuel burning equipment with renewable heating technologies. It says this will be linked to the green deal to ensure homes are properly insulated before such equipment is installed.