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Revamped Green Deal to launch in June

The government is to revamp the controversial Green Deal, providing grants of up to £7,600 against energy efficiency measures such as insulation, new boilers and double glazing.

The Green Deal Home Improvement Fund will be launched in June, replacing the Green Deal under which households borrowed money to fund improvements and repaid it through their energy bills. Take-up of the latter was disappointing – despite a £125m cashback incentive – and it was widely criticised for its complexity and cost.

The new scheme, which reimburses up to 75 per cent of the cost of qualifying improvements provided certain conditions are met, is also available to private or social landlords.

In order to claim the money, householders must first obtain a Green Deal Assessment Report at a cost of £100-£150, or provide an energy performance certificate less than two years old. They can then apply to the fund to carry out two improvements from an approved list. These include installing cavity or solid wall insulation, double glazing, new doors, loft insulation or fitting a new boiler. If the application is approved, a voucher for the work will be issued.

The work must be done by an approved Green Deal installer, who will validate the voucher once the work is complete. After completing the claim, the householder will be reimbursed for three-quarters of the cost up to a limit of £1,000 (or £6,000 for solid wall insulation). The cost of the assessment will also be reimbursed up to the value of £100.

The fund is not means-tested so householders can apply regardless of income or financial status. However, the terms announced may be revised once the scheme has handed out £50m, and total disbursements this financial year are capped at £120m.

Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at uSwitch, said the new incentive scheme was a simpler way for people to engage in energy efficiency than the initiative it was replacing. “The funds are also more accessible, as an energy performance certificate up to two years old can be used, rather than having to get a Green Deal assessment.”

Source : Jonathan Eley - Financial Times

07 May 2014
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