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DECC To Reopen Popular Green Deal Home Improvement Fund

Tuesday December 2nd 2014

According to Business Green, ‘The government’s Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) is set to get a multi-million pound boost this week, which will allow the grant scheme to be reopened after it was suddenly shut this summer when the original budget ran out.’

Details of the new funding scheme are expected to be announced later this week, using money from the £100m that Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Ed Davey, secured from the Treasury two months ago in an attempt to increase funding for domestic energy efficiency improvements.

The GDHIF launched in summer 2014 with a £120m budget and offered homeowners’ vouchers worth up to £7,600 to help them to pay for energy efficiency upgrades on their homes.

However, the scheme was so popular that it was forced to close within weeks of the launch after £120m worth of vouchers were applied for.

The fresh £100m secured by Ed Davey is expected to be spread across a number of phases, with the first pot confirmed this week and the second in April 2015.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has softened industry fears that the GDHIF has been ‘gamed’ by firms applying for and selling them on to insulation companies.

A survey of 1,000 Green Deal applicants by the DECC earlier this year found that a high percentage of people holding vouchers do plan to cash them in before the end of their six-month validity period. Of the 300 responses, just 1% said they no longer expected to use the voucher, while a third had already booked in improvement work.

Recent official figures reveal that nearly £30m of the Green Deal fund had been paid out by the end of October, supporting 8,750 energy efficiency measures.

However, the UK Government has announced that it will tighten up the rules governing applications in the second phase of the funding scheme. Homeowners will need to provide more concrete details on their application, on top of a basic quotation from an installer, including the name of the customer and the installer that will carry out the work.

The DECC said, “Thousands of people have made energy saving improvements since the scheme launched in June and soon even more people will be able to.”