The Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) launched on the 9th June 2014 in a bid to boost improvements to existing homes to reduce energy demand. This latest Government backed funding pot could see householders claiming up to £7,600 for making energy efficient changes to their homes, but is it worth it?
The scheme is designed to help with the cost of installing 14 of the most commonly needed energy efficiency improvements, ranging from insulation to new boilers and even double glazing. The scheme has replaced the old cashback scheme, which closed on June 30th.
The Green Deal scheme was created to encourage more people to do more to their homes to reduce their energy demand. The main scheme involves having a survey by a Green Deal assessor, which will highlight the measures which would be most beneficial for your home. These can include everything from basic insulation and draught proofing through to solar panels and heat pumps. You can find out more about the Green Deal in general on our introduction to the Green Deal.
Show Me the Money!
After having a Green Deal assessment, you can choose to pay for the required measures yourself, to borrow money from the Green Deal finance scheme or, now, to use money from the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF). The maximum any household can claim under this fund is £7,600, but it is unlikely that any one home will qualify to receive all this funding.
There are four routes to claiming money from the GDHIF, and your eligibility will depend on the measures you are installing.
1. Install two of the ‘main’ energy efficiency measures and get up to £1,000 back
The 12 main energy efficiency measures include condensing boilers, double glazing (as a replacement for single glazing), new doors, cavity wall insulation, floor insulation and replacement storage heaters. A full list is on the scheme factsheet. To get the full £1,000 you need to install two of these measures and spend at least £1,000 on parts and labour.
2. Install solid wall insulation and get up to £6,000 back
Solid wall insulation is messy, disruptive and expensive to install, but is a highly worthwhile measure in terms of stopping heat loss. The installation can be done on the inside or outside of the walls, and can cost from £5,000 to £15,000. Under the scheme you could claim back 75% of the installation cost, capped at a maximum of £6,000.
3. Have an assessment an get £100 back
The Green Deal all functions through the assessment. Without the assessment, no householders can go ahead with any part of the Green Deal programme, which means they have to fork out for the cost of the assessment itself. These typically cost from £100 to £150, but if you go ahead with any measures recommended in this assessment you can now claim back £100.
4. Enjoy a bonus of £500 if you’ve just moved in
If you bought your home in the last 12 months, you can top up your cashback by £500 when you install any measures under the scheme.
Other Points to Note
If you are considering applying for cashback through the GDHIF, you should also be aware that there are a few other rules to follow. These include:
- Applying for the voucher before the work commences
- Only measures recommended in an EPC or Green Deal Assessment will be eligible
- Cannot be used in conjunction with ECO or any other Government funding
- Can be used in conjunction with Green Deal finance
- Needs to be installed by a Green Deal authorised provider
The scheme is a good opportunity for householders in England and Wales to improve their homes and get some money back, and is particularly attractive to those who need solid wall insulation done but are put off by the cost.
What About Scotland and Northern Ireland?
Scotland has a different scheme called the Green Homes Cashback Scheme. Under this scheme, householder can claim up to £7,300 for energy saving measures. Cashback levels, for example, include £500 for a boiler, £400 for insulation and up to £6,000 for solid wall insulation. More details on this scheme are available on the Energy Saving Trust Scotland website.
There is currently no Green Deal in Northern Ireland. The Assembly is still deciding how to spend its Green Deal funding, and in the meantime there is help and support available for NI residents on the NI Direct Energywise website.
On July 24th, 2014 just short of 7 weeks after the launch of the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund was launched, DECC announced that the fund is now closed for applications.