The Government's Green Deal scheme, which aims to help people make energy efficient home improvements, is continuing to make a slow start, new figures show.

No work has yet been completed using Green Deal finance schemes - but people have been snapping up cashback by paying for the work upfront (see our Green Deal guide for a full explanation of this complex system).

Under the Green Deal, an assessor visits your home for a fee and recommends improvements, which you can install under a Green Deal plan. Loans are available to cover the upfront cost, which are paid back through savings made on utility bills.

But only four households have committed to to have work done that will be paid for through utility bills — with none of these at the stage where work is finished and they are paying off loans through their bills.

The main stumbling block for the Green Deal is that the loans only became available last month, with five providers joining the scheme since May.

Beset by problems

Just over 38,000 assessments have been carried out since the Green Deal launched in January. These figures include households who are planning to cover the cost of work upfront, without taking out finance.

But only 245 households have signed up to obtain a quote for work which would be backed by a Green Deal finance plan.

The Green Deal has been beset with problems since its launch. Only a handful of assessors were ready when the scheme began, and problems continued for several weeks afterwards.

But the issue with providing finance has been the biggest problem so far for the Green Deal.

Today's Government figures show one silver lining – more than 80,000 energy saving home improvements have taken place under the new Energy Company Obligations (Eco) scheme, which launched at the same time as the Green Deal.

Here, big energy companies provide grants to help people on low incomes improve their homes. Loft insulation, cavity wall insulation and boiler upgrades represent the majority of the Eco work carried out.