FEWER than five vouchers for a Government energy-saving scheme were issued to Barrow residents before it was scrapped, figures show.

The TUC union said the green homes grant – which has aided less than 10% of the homes it aimed to nationally – was a lost opportunity to create thousands of jobs and make houses more environmentally friendly.

Launched in September, the flagship policy was designed to help homeowners install energy efficient improvements with vouchers of up to £5,000, or £10,000 for those on low-incomes.

Figures from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy show Barrow residents applied for 83 vouchers by the time the scheme was axed at the end of March.

Of those, between one and four were issued – though an exact figure could not be given.

A spokesman for Barrow Borough Council said: “The Green Homes grant (GHG) scheme was a government-led initiative which had no council involvement and relied upon direct applications from homeowners.

“There will, however, be a second phase of the GHG programme, which we will be actively involved in alongside other district councils in Cumbria. We expect this scheme to be operational later this year and look forward to playing our part in making Barrow a cleaner and greener place to live.”

Under the scheme, £1.5 billion was made available across England for 600,000 vouchers towards paying for measures such as insulation and low-carbon heating in hundreds of thousands of homes.

However, BEIS said just 49,000 vouchers – worth £208 million – had been issued by April 19. The figures show two-thirds of applications for vouchers were rejected or still awaiting a decision by the end of March.

It was due to run until March 2022 before being scrapped last month, with Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng admitting that applications were not processed quickly enough.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “The green homes grant was an opportunity to create thousands of decent jobs in making our homes warmer and greener.

“But at the current rate, it will take two centuries to reach all English homes.”

Ms O’Grady wants the Government to give councils the resources to create more jobs and retrofit homes to make them more environmentally friendly.

A BEIS spokeswoman said an additional £300 million has been allocated to local authorities for the green homes scheme.

She added: "All applications received by March 31 will be processed, meaning installations will continue over the coming months, supporting jobs and delivering energy efficiency to homes."