The North Down Councillor said: “The application process for these grants is a bureaucratic nightmare. In addition to completing the grant form, applicants must obtain planning permission, and apply for building control and two different installation quotes.
“One of my constituents who proposed to install a small wind turbine calculated that the fees payable in obtaining planning permission and building control would be approximately £400. Any grant received should their application be successful would cover merely 40% of these costs only.
“It is essential that changes are made to the application process to encourage greater uptake of this scheme.
“Bureaucracy must be greatly reduced and any installations should not require planning permission. Other administrative fees should be waived or reduced to relate to the actual amount of work involved in the process.
“This scheme is of massive local importance in helping protect the environment, because green energy systems in homes will greatly cut down on pollution. People who wish to install environmentally friendly energy systems in their houses must be encouraged to do so, and this scheme must provide a real incentive to those people.
“I strongly support this scheme and have encountered lots of interest among constituents in installing green energy systems. However, unless significant moves are made to simplify the application process, I feel that this scheme will fail to have any real impact in reducing carbon emissions”