Green Deal Home Improvement Fund closes to new applicants

DECC has announced the immediate closure of the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) due to a ‘overwhelming popular demand’.

The move comes just days after DECC cut the cashback payments for a number of energy efficiency measures after exhausting the scheme’s first £50m tranche of funding.

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.”

GDHIF opened to applications on June 2014 and allowed homeowners to redeem up to £7,600 in cash vouchers. It was designed to reward homeowners for choosing Green Deal finance and was widely credited by Green Deal Providers and Installers for stimulating demand and allowing installers to directly access a cash back fund for customers without subcontracting work to a provider.

Neil Schofield, head of government and external affairs at Worcester, Bosch Group, described the decision-making process as a farce.

“The scheme was supposed to last for three years and instead has been wound up after seven weeks. We were promised certainty and long-term planning and instead have received ambivalence and short-termism. The decision displays a shocking inability to demand forecast and a total lack of understanding of the dynamics of the heating industry.”