Green Deal fund is closed

green dealThe £120 million Green Deal Home Improvement Fund has been exhausted and closed suddenly, just six weeks after it commenced, following a ‘surge in applications’ last week.

A statement released by the Department of Energy and Climate change (DECC) read that as a result of ‘overwhelming popular demand…the allocated budget has now been reached’.

However, the statement maintains that: ‘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.’

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change, Amber Rudd, said: “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.”

DECC says it will monitor voucher redemption rates and ‘consider whether to launch a further offer should funds become available’.

The Green Deal Home Improvement Fund was set up to help households in England and Wales improve the energy efficiency of their homes.

Launched in June, people were able to get up to £7,600 back through the fund, to help them install energy efficiency measures such as solid wall insulation or energy efficient glazing by providing them with money back on the contributions they make towards improvements.

The news of the fund’s sudden closure has come as a shock to many in the wider construction and energy efficiency sectors, with the insulation industry calling on the government to launch an inquiry amid concerns the scheme could have been a victim of ‘touting’, with firms buying up batches of vouchers on a speculative basis.

Richard Twinn, policy and public affairs officer at the UK Green Building Council, 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. We now need urgent clarity as to whether government will bring forward any more money to ensure continuity of Green Deal work.”

Nigel Rees, GGF Group chief executive, said: “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, yet it has ended after roughly two months from its inception. It 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 no difference to the window industry now that it has closed.”

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