No More Double Glazing Grants Via GDHIF
Without much warning at all, the Government closed applications to the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund, or GDHIF as it’s better known, on the 24th July 2014 due to overwhelming demand and announced that it had been a huge success.
The announcement was met with disappointment from those involved in energy related markets, including the double glazing industry.
Applications were closed with immediate effect although any previous applications will be processed and assessed as before.
The government implied that there were more incentives planned and advised consumers to contact firstname.lastname@example.org for future updates about Green Deal incentives. Those looking for double glazing grants should keep an eye on future developments.
There is also an energy grants calculator, which includes double glazing options, at https://www.gov.uk/energy-grants-calculator which is well worth a look.
The GDHIF offered cashback of up to £7,600 to households improving the energy efficiency of their home but a sudden surge of applications took up the final allocation of £70m in just 3 days and threatened to blow the budget which is why the decision to close the scheme without warning.
Some suggest that it was initially set up, back in June 2014, to kick start the Green Deal – the Governments flagship energy program which was being regarded as a flop, not attracting many takers at all and being the reason for the significant downturn in the loft and cavity insulation markets.
From it’s introduction in June the GDHIF had paid out over £50m in cashback out of the original budget of £120m. This then prompted the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to announce a cut in maximum cashback payments which in turn prompted a huge influx of 9,500 new applications which grabbed the remaining £70m available and leaving them with no choice but to close the scheme at 6:30pm on 24th July.
Amber Rudd MP and newly appointed Minister for Energy and Climate Change announced the closure stating:
“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.”
The announcement was met with distain by the oppositions Shadow Energy Minister, Jonathan Reynolds who angrily responded as follows:
“This is a shocking act of incompetence. It will leave many customers who have paid £100 for a green deal assessment out of pocket, with little prospect of them having the work they were promised done, and an insulation industry in despair at the stop-start nature of this government’s policy.”
The industry too expressed it’s disappointment – Neil Schofield of Worcester Bosch saying:
“The tragedy is that, for once, Decc has come up with a scheme that works. It’s a body blow and a triumph for short-termism.”
And Richard Twinn, UK Green Building Council:
“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. This does demonstrate that we need long-term drivers, not short term pots of cash to avoid this continual cycle of boom and bust.”
On the positive side though, the Green Deal itself is still alive and kicking and so if you are considering making improvements to the energy efficiency of your home you should still book an assessment – there’s money and support available for most energy improvement measures, including double glazing if the right criteria is met.
DECC has also stated that it will not write off the launch of a another offer in the future if more funds become available or, the cynical amongst us might say, if the Green Deals should require another kick up the backside!