Green Deal Home Improvement Fund closes early

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has announced the closure of the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) due to “overwhelming public demand”.

Surge in Applicants

An unprecedented surge in applications over the past few days has seen the allocated £120m budget for the initiative reached.

The Government have confirmed that all applications received prior to the closing of the GDHIF, which meet the eligibility criteria and adhere to the terms and conditions, will be honoured at the original rates.

However, many thousands of people who had spent £100 for a Green Deal assessment but had not yet submitted their applications will stand to lose out.

As part of the indicative the £100 assessment fee was refunded once an application proved successful. With the closure of GDHIF those yet to make an application will be unlikely to receive a refund on the £100 home assessment.

Just days before the closure of the scheme the DECC announced that they planned to lower the cashback levels from £7,600 to £5,600 due to £50m of the fund having already been reached.

An Act of Incompetence

However just days later the remaining £70m had been allocated after 9,500 households made applications, forcing ministers to close the scheme early. Decc minister Amber Rudd said: “In a short space of time the GDHIF has proved extremely popular. We were always clear there was a budget which is why we encouraged people to act quickly. As a result, thousands more families will now benefit from government help to have warmer homes which use less energy.” Richard Twinn, at the UK Green Building Council, however said:

“The sudden and immediate closure of this fund is another setback for the energy efficiency industry because companies have specifically geared up to market and deliver through this scheme. These constant changes are not helpful to industry.

"This does demonstrate that we need long-term drivers, not short term pots of cash to avoid this continual cycle of boom and bust.”

Shadow energy minister, Jonathan Reynolds, said:

“This is a shocking act of incompetence. It will leave many customers who have paid £100 for a green deal assessment out of pocket, with little prospect of them having the work they were promised done, and an insulation industry in despair at the stop-start nature of this government’s policy."

The GDHIF scheme was set up to offer households up to £7,600 to insulate their homes and make them more energy efficient. The fund was offered to cover the cost of a number of heat saving methods including installing new doors and windows.

The Guardian

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