Amber Rudd MP, the new Energy and Climate Change Minister, announced that the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) was closing on 24th July 2014 due to extremely high demand and the end to its allocated funding. The fund’s closure comes just six weeks after major changes to the scheme which included up to £7,600 cashback for householders installing solid wall insulation.
Changes to the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund had only been announced at the beginning of June 2014 but it appears that it was so popular that the allocated funding has run out. A spokesman for the UK Green Building Council expressed the disappointment of many in the industry by saying that 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”. He continued, “these changes are not helpful to industry. We now need urgent clarity as to whether Government will bring forward any more money to ensure continuity of Green Deal work”.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change announced that all GDHIF valid applications received prior to the 24th July 2014 will be honoured at the advertised rates of cashback. DECC also claimed that it would monitor GDHIF voucher redemption rates and would consider whether to launch a further offer should funds become available.
Amber Rudd MP said that “the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund is a world first and in a short space of time it 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”. Nevertheless, home owners who have paid for a Green Deal Assessment with the intention of claiming back £100 towards its cost from the GDHIF may now have lost out.
The GDHIF was introduced to encourage householders to use the Green Deal to help them make their homes more energy efficient by installing new boilers and insulation.