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Questions asked around sudden closure of green deal home improvement scheme

Posted by Tasha Kosviner on 25 July 2014 at 9:33 am

The government has announced that applications to the green deal home improvement fund have closed with immediate effect.

Following a ‘surge in applications’ over the last two days, the GDHIF budget was reached and breached and in a surprise move, the government last night pulled the plug.

All eligible applications received prior to the closure of the fund will still be honoured.

The move follows an announcement two days ago that the fund for solid wall insulation would be slashed from £6,000 to £4,000 per household as payouts made under the fund neared £50m. But this led to a ‘surge in applications’ which meant that the fund £120m fund was suddenly emptied.

Questions were immediately asked about how more than £60m worth of vouchers could be issued in just two days.

“Am I the only person here thinking that someone has scammed the system?” wrote the Happy Energy blogger.

Meanwhile Richard Twinn policy and public affairs officer at the UK-GBC said that the closure perpetuated a 'cycle of boom and bust' in the green building industry.

“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," he said. 

"These constant changes are not helpful to the industry we now need urgent clarity as to whether government will bring forward any more money to ensure continuity of green deal work."

Concerns that the scheme was ‘scammed’ centre around the possibility that the vouchers may have been claimed by installers speculatively, who may then ‘sell’ them on to householders in their own time.

All that is needed to register for the GDHIF is an EPC number and a green deal installer or provider reference. EPC numbers are readily available from the Landmark register and you just need to select a GDI or GDP from a drop down menu. 

Photo Credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/10533549@N08/3349948449/">HA! Designs - Artbyheather</a> via <a href="http://compfight.com">Compfight</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">cc</a>

If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.

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Comments

7 comments - read them below or add one

rogerhoward

rogerhowardComment left on: 3 September 2014 at 1:30 am

Like many others interested in solid wall insulation, I'd got my EPC Certificate before Xmas, had a couple of solid wall insulation companies round in January and February and received from them quotes for insulating the main rear walls of my home, and only had to decide on one of them by the time of the Budget.

So when the Budget announced that the two-thirds grant coverage of the Green Deal Cashback scheme was to be replaced with a three-quarters grant coverage of a GDHIF instead, folks like me naturally thought "Thanks very much, I'll wait until June for that, then."

It's hardly surprising that come the day of the GDHIF website launch, we all piled in with our long-awaited applications, is it?!

In my case, I am now getting the front insulated too within the £6k Green Deal limit.

So all the government have done with GDHIF approach to the limited Green Deal funding made available is to 'spread the jam' more thinly amongst a more limited number of us! -what a surprise!

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Gilly Jones

Gilly JonesComment left on: 31 July 2014 at 9:31 am

@David Warburton

Just to be clear, the Green deal home improvement fund (GDHIF) has closed to new appliants, but the domestic renewable heat incentive (RHI) is still open. For more information on the RHI click here

 

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David Warburton

David WarburtonComment left on: 31 July 2014 at 9:26 am

I see from my installers Web site they are still advertising the Heat Incentive scheme is still available.What check and a downright lie! 

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David Warburton

David WarburtonComment left on: 31 July 2014 at 9:16 am

I was tricked by a salesperson inrespect of the amount of subsidy we would recieve. We installed a GSHP almost three years ago at considerable expense on the understanding we would recieve a subsidy over 7 years to pay back our installation costs. We have yet to recieve a penny! I would advise anyone thinking of installing a GSHP to carefully look at the figures and think twice. My installation costs were in excess of £20,000 and you can buy a lot of electricity for that!!!!

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Jeff B

Jeff BComment left on: 28 July 2014 at 6:34 pm

Can we now expect the same fiasco with the Domestic RHI scheme when the September review arrives?

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Tasha Kosviner

Tasha KosvinerComment left on: 25 July 2014 at 4:01 pm

DECC released stats today to show that it was £50m of vouchers that were issued in the last two days. Still a staggering amount! 

Good point Linn. We are delighted that there has been such a good amount of support available for insulation and other measures but YouGen are calling for DECC to examine who has claimed all these vouchers to ensure households are benefiting as they should.  

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Linn Rafferty

Linn Rafferty from JTec Energy PerformanceComment left on: 25 July 2014 at 10:33 am

It does seem highly unlikely that 60m worth of vouchers could have been correctly claimed in just two days.  It can't have been applications in the pipeline, as just two days before, they had calculated that 50% of the funding had been allocated.

There was some surprise expressed, when GDHIF was announced, that applications would be allowed on the basis of the EPC alone. Not only did that mean that claimants would be accessing funding without having received bespoke energy advice relating to them, but it did open the door to the type of data mining that could result in such a rapid drawdown of the remaining funds.

If this is found to be the case, then we can only hope that the closure of the scheme will allow the funds to be re-released to genuine applicants in due course.

 

 

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