The Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) has been a huge success, with millions being allocated to home solid wall insulation across the UK in the last year. There have been 3 rounds of funding so far, with each batch of funding running out extremely quickly. The last allocation of solid wall money ran out a few months ago, and we have all been eagerly anticipating another round of funding at some point over the summer.
Unfortunately since the election the government have been very quiet on the scheme, and we are still waiting to hear if it will continue as it was, continue with lower rates, or be scrapped all together.
Green Deal to be scrapped?
One area of the government unlikely to escape cuts is in the Department of Energy and Climate Change. Unlike the NHS and Pension services, this area of the Government’s spending has not been ring fenced, so big cuts are expected to fall here. With the Green Deal scheme performing so poorly generally, and such a low uptake on the loans, it would not be surprising for the Government to get rid of the scheme entirely. Unfortunately, the Green Deal Assessment has been incorporated into a number of other schemes, which make it a pre-requisite for applying for various funding streams, like the RHI and ECO. It could mean the Green Deal remains in some capacity.
RHI facing cuts?
The other flagship government scheme targeted at renewable heating is the Renewable Heat Incentive. This scheme, for both domestic and commercial properties, allows you to claim an incentive payment for biomass, solar thermal, or heat pump installations. It has had a modest reception, with an under spend on the budget for the last year. However, the grants are generous and those that have been able to take advantage will in some cases get back more than the install cost of the systems.
With government cuts in the offing, the RHI is an obvious place the government will look to reduce the budget. We expect the rates for each technology to be reduced at least to some extent.
What next for GDHIF?
Unfortunately, with the future of the Green Deal in general somewhat in doubt, it is not surprising that the GDHIF funding is also very much up in the air. It is certainly possible that another batch of funding will become available, but it cannot be guaranteed in the current political climate. We suggest that if it does open again to new applicants, be ready with your quote and EPC to apply, as you may not get another chance.
If you have already got a voucher – don’t let it expire. Some installers are struggling to get all their installations done in time for the customers to claim their grant money. If you are worried your installer might not meet the deadlines, give us a call.
Solid Wall Insulation without funding
Although it is always nice to get some free government money, we firmly believe that external insulation is here to stay, whether there are grants available or not. We are seeing many customers coming to us without any funding looking for a quote, and if you are going to be rendering anyway the costs are not dissimilar. So don’t let the lack of government incentives get in the way of improving your property!