27th August 2014 – Anne-Marie Armstrong / INCA
GDHIF Applications Update
Figures released by DECC last week revealed that, out of 21,464 Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) applications, 14,323 vouchers had been issued by the end of July. 449 vouchers had been paid, totalling around £2.3 million, and 68% included SWI as the main measure.
DECC continues to investigate the likelihood of vouchers being redeemed and has written to all householders, participants and other stakeholders to remind them about the terms and conditions.
There have been delays in applications being processed due to the volume and any outstanding application queries should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The GDHIF Administrator is using ‘reasonable endeavours’ to make payment of vouchers within 10 days and you should ensure invoices are compliant to avoid unnecessary delays.
14th August 2014 – Anne-Marie Armstrong
Trade Associations Seek Answers and a Commitment to Change – GDHIF
Following the closure of the GDHIF scheme on 24th July both of Wetherby’s industry trade associations INCA & NIA have submitted proposals to DECC on work they should carry out to verify the authenticity of vouchers applied. They have also requested that DECC identify the likely level of voucher redemptions in order to identify how much of the £120m applied for is not going to be spent, so that the scheme can re-open as soon as possible. These proposals included changes to the scheme design and rules to avoid some of the issues and problems that have been experienced to date.
- Following initial meetings, DECC kicked off a significant telephone interview exercise last week amongst householders who had applied for vouchers to identify their likelihood to proceed with the works and redeem the vouchers.
- A further update on the telephone interviews and other activities to verify vouchers and redemption levels from DECC is expected later this week.
25th July 2014 – Anne-Marie Armstrong
Green Deal Home Improvment Fund Scheme CLOSED!
On the evening of 24th July 2014 the Department of Energy & Climate Change announced that since the the GDHIF budget of £120m had almost reached it’s climax, the scheme would be closed with immediate effect.
This news has come as a great surprise and disappointment to us since we now fear that many householders who have paid for a Green Deal Assessment in order to qualify, but who have not yet registered, may now lose out.
Since the scheme was only revised three days ago on Tuesday 22nd July, with almost another £60m added into the GDHIF scheme, Wetherby’s two industry bodies (NIA & INCA) are urging DECC to investigate how the remaining budget was allocated so quickly in just two days.
We’ll keep you updated with further news as it comes in.
22nd July 2014 – Anne-Marie Armstrong
DECC makes changes to the Green Deal Home Improvment Fund Scheme.
With the potential value of the vouchers issued to date now at £43.5 million and more than £50 million applied for, DECC has implemented the following changes in order to help as many people as possible under the scheme and make sure the funding of £120 million available in this financial year runs until 31 March 2015.
- SWI – The grant for SWI will be reduced to a maximum of £4,000 (from £6,000) and the consumer will be required to make a contribution of 33% (up from 25%) from this Friday 25 July. Anyone submitting an application for SWI works on or after Friday will receive a voucher at the new rate of up to £4,000.
- Eligible Measures – Flue gas heat recovery will no longer be eligible for funding under the scheme from Tuesday 5 August as evidence from the first 6 weeks indicates that the deployment of this measure being supported by GDHIF is much higher than expected and DECC has effectively taken action to avoid any distortion to the market.
Unlike when GDHIF was launched, DECC has not guaranteed the new funding rates for a certain level of funding; however, there have been assurances that there are no further changes planned at this stage.
Further information regarding the changes can be found in the DECC press release
22nd July 2014 – Anne-Marie Armstrong
DECC publishes Government response to 5th March 2014 Consultation.
You can read the document here: DECC ECO Consulation Response 22.07.14
16th January 2014 – Anne-Marie Armstrong
Following the recent suggestion from Government that it would reduce or remove the environmental levies on fuel bills in order to lower costs for households, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has announced a number of proposed changes to Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and the Green Deal.
In the week that the Chancellor delivered his Autumn Statement, DECC ended weeks of uncertainty when it confirmed a series of key changes to the Government’s flagship schemes for improving the energy efficiency of the existing housing stock, which were launched in January this year. The Green Deal provides access to funding for installing energy efficiency measures at little or no upfront cost which are then repaid from the savings on energy bills and ECO requires energy suppliers to fund the measures to reduce carbon emissions and tackle fuel poverty.
The proposed changes to ECO include:
- Maintaining the current level of ECO activity directed at low income and vulnerable households until 2015 and setting new targets for 2015 – 2017
- A reduction in the Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation (CERO) element of ECO by 33% for the period to 2015 and a new target set for the period to 2017 which reflects this reduced level of activity. Energy companies that fall short of their new 2015 delivery targets will have their 2017 target increased by the same multiple
- Energy companies will be allowed to insulate easy-to-treat cavity walls and lofts as part of their ECO carbon targets. However, collectively they will still need to provide a minimum of 100,000 homes with solid wall insulation by 2017
- People buying a new home could get up to £1,000 from the Government to spend on energy-saving measures, equivalent to half the stamp duty on the average house, or up to £4,000 for particularly expensive measures such as SWI.
The Green Deal proposals are designed to streamline the scheme in order to improve uptake. They include increasing the funds available to local authorities through the Green Deal Communities Programme to help support ‘street-by-street’ programmes, adding more measures to the list of those that can be supported by Green Deal, and working with industry to reduce the cost of insurance requirements for Green Deal measures.
The changes are officially proposals only at this stage and the Government will be consulting on them in the New Year. Further information can be found in the official ECO Press Release and Green Deal Press Release published by DECC.