Green Deal Home Improvement Fund re-launched

deccThe government has announced new details regarding the re-launch of the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) on Wednesday December 10.

As previously reported by Roofzine, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has announced an additional œ100m for the energy efficiency fund, which was forced to close after just six weeks in July following overwhelming demand.

The scheme is now once again open to new applications, with up to œ5,600 available to households throughout England and Wales to help with the cost of installing energy saving measures. The funding is to be released on a quarterly basis, with up to œ30m in vouchers available up to February 2015 when the next sum is expected to be released.

This initial finance has been split into two categories, with up to œ24m eligible for solid wall insulation and the remaining œ6m to be used for two measures taken from a list of home improvements available under the scheme.

Once the funding under each category has been committed, no more applications will be taken except for the other category, assuming funds are still available. 

Ed Davey, energy and climate change secretary, said: “This fund is a big success story for the Green Deal – helping thousands of people improve their homes so that they’re warmer, greener and cheaper to run.

“The best way people can cut their energy bills, this winter and every winter, is to improve their homes so that they leak less heat and use less energy. That’s why we’ve increased the funding available for the Green Deal to help even more people start saving money sooner.”

Amber Rudd, parliamentary under secretary of state at DECC, said: “More than three quarters of a million homes have already had energy saving improvements installed as a result of the Energy Company Obligation and Green Deal. It makes sense to go even further to help more families install measures so that they see the benefits of lower bills and a warmer home for years to come.”

There was a significant backlash from the energy efficiency sector when the GDHIF was first closed in July. Many groups called for more funding to be made available, and for the application process to be altered to account for ?phantom vouchers’ that are applied for without a commitment of work – particularly the National Insulation Association (NIA).

The second phase of the scheme requires a quote from a GDHIF registered installer or provider for work specified on the GDAR or EPC and included on the list of GDHIF approved measures. This suggests that slight changes have been made to address the issue of ?phantom vouchers’ believed to have hampered the progress of the GDHIF’s first phase, which was criticised for causing businesses to suffer from funding delays.

A representative from DECC told Roofzine that a number of other changes had been made to ensure the second phase of the scheme runs smoothly. Those undertaking work through the fund will have to provide proof of ownership at the application stage, which DECC says will stop the request from slowing down payment when they seek to redeem the voucher. The department will also launch a GDHIF online portal in January 2015 so that households can claim their vouchers and track progress online. The administrator’s resource for managing the scheme has also been doubled to ensure the process remains stable.

Speaking exclusively to Roofzine, Neil Marshall, chief executive of the NIA, said: “We welcome the re-opening of the GDHIF and commitment from DECC to further funding being made available in early 2015. We ar