Image Above: Nigel Rees, Group Chief Executive of the GGF.
The GGF was disappointed to hear this week, that newly appointed Energy Minister Amber Rudd has been forced to shut down the Green Deal money back scheme The Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) “with immediate effect” after it was overwhelmed by a last-minute “dash for cash”.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) have blamed a sudden surge in applications for clearing out £70 million of ring-fenced budget in just two days, the entire £120m budget was intended to last 12 months.
In a statement, DECC confirmed that the allocated budget has now been reached and “all applications received prior to the fund closing that satisfy the terms and conditions and meet the eligibility criteria will be honoured at the original rates”.
The GDHIF was set up to boost the Green Deal scheme as a replacement to the Green Deal Cashback scheme which had failed to boost the original Green Deal scheme. The difference with the GDHIF was that it was available through Green Deal Installers as well as Green Deal Providers. Under the GDHIF, the homeowner/consumer only has to have two measures installed to get the cash, provided they go through the Green Deal process – they don’t necessarily have to take out a Green Deal Plan.
The GDHIF was intended to boost the uptake of the Green Deal scheme and subsequently help households in England and Wales improve the energy efficiency of their homes.
Nigel Rees, GGF Group Chief Executive commented, “The sudden closure of the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund is a disappointment as it was intended to last for a long period of time and offer stability to Green Deal, yet it has ended after roughly two months from its inception.”
Energy Minister Amber Rudd commented: “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.”
Nigel Rees continued, “The Green Deal Home Improvement Fund has done virtually nothing for the window industry as homeowners only qualified for the fund, if they were replacing single glazing. This was a relatively pointless requirement because there’s very little single glazing in owner occupier homes. It’s fair to say, no other industry had such a proviso put upon them and yet again the window industry has been offered practically nothing from this initiative. With such low impact during its existence there will be little difference to the replacement window industry now that it has closed.”
DECC has stated it will monitor voucher redemption rates and will consider whether to launch a new offer in the future should further funds become available.