UPDATE: As of 30 March 2016, the government has stopped funding and the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund is closed to new applications. You can read about it here.
What is the Green Deal Communities Grant?
The Green Deal Communities Grant programme is a scheme specifically designed to improve the energy efficiency of homes in the following local authority areas:
- South Oxfordshire
- Vale of White Horse
- West Oxfordshire
- London Borough of Ealing
- South Bucks
This grant is being funded by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) following a successful bid made by South Bucks District Council (SBDC) on behalf of a consortium of Local Authorities (see list above). The National Energy Foundation (NEF) has been appointed as Project Managers – who in turn can recommend any PAS2030 / Green Deal Installer to carry out the works.
What energy saving measures will the Green Deal Communities Grant (Buckinghamshire, Ealing, Oxfordshire) fund?
The grants will fund a number of energy saving measures including the following:
- Solid wall insulation
- Energy efficient boilers
- Double glazing
- Other recommendations determined by the Green Deal Assessment
How much grant funding is available?
The grants available to householders are a maximum of £5,200 for solid wall insulation and a maximum of £3,000 for one or more other energy efficiency measures. The cost of having these measures can be fully funded for those on qualifying benefits. Customers can top up the grant from their own funds if they wish to do so.
The Green Deal Communities (GDC) grant can be topped up with ECO funding but cannot exceed a sum of £7,000 – otherwise the customer will receive less of the GDC grant.
Who can qualify for the solid wall insulation grant?
As mentioned the solid wall insulation grant (both internal and external insulation) is worth up to £5,200, and in theory you will qualify for this if the Green Deal Assessment undertaken recommends this as an improvement measure. You can either be in receipt of means tested benefits to quality for the full amount; if you are not in receipt of benefits then you have to make a customer contribution of at least 30% of the total project cost.
The amount of grant will be adjusted accordingly so it is in line with the 30% required customer contribution.
Please note: at least 50% of the external walls have to be insulated for a customer to be eligible for a GDC grant for solid wall insulation.
Who qualifies for a grant up to £3000 for other energy saving measures?
To qualify for the £3,000 GDC grants someone within the households needs to be on one or more means tested benefits. As part of the application process householders will be advised by NEF whether they are on a qualifying benefit. They are asked to send proof of this with their completed grant application form.
What are the deadlines for this Green Deal Communities Grant scheme?
To be eligible for the grant you must have a signed a contract with the Green Deal Installation company for the works by the 31st March 2016.
The works themselves need to be completed no later than June 30th 2016 and any paperwork needs to be sent to NEF by the end of September 2016.
How can our readers find out more about this GDC (Buckinghamshire, Ealing, Oxfordshire) grant?
They should contact NEF through the Affordable Warmth Network helpline on 0800 107 0044. Or e- mail email@example.com. NEF will take customer’s details and if they qualify send them a GDC grant application which the customer needs to return with the proof of benefits.
What is a Green Deal Assessment?
A Green Deal Assessment is an energy efficiency audit of the property showing areas that could be improved to help lower energy bills. The process lasts about 90minutes where a qualified assessor walks around the property taking a series of measurements to determine the current energy efficiency of the property.
The energy efficiency measure to be installed must be recommended in an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) or the Green Deal Assessment which is less than 2 years old and the customer hasn’t made any changes to the energy efficiency of their property since it was carried out (such as a new boiler or extension). The two years is calculated from the first date the customer contacts NEF. If an energy efficiency measure has not been recommended in this way, the cost of installing it cannot be funded through the GDC grant programme.
Who will organise and pay for the EPC or GDAR?
If an EPC or GDAR is required it will be organised by NEF through either Energy Smart or Energy Move, who have been appointed following a competitive tender process. The cost of this will be borne by the Project.
What happens next?
The Green Deal Assessment is completed and a copy is sent to NEF who then presented back to the customer showing a summary of all the energy efficiency measure(s) that could be funded through the programme.
It is up to the customer then to notify NEF which measure(s) up to the grant level (plus any customer contribution) they wish to have installed. NEF then makes a provisional offer for the grant and gives the customer a list of 5 installers to receive the quotes.
NEF is not recommending these installers and the customer does not have to obtain quotes from one or any of those on the list but is free to speak to the Energy Saving Advice Service to obtain names and numbers of other Green Deal Installers.
Who can install the energy efficiency improvements?
To be eligible for a grant through the GDC project the work must be carried out by a Green Deal Installer (GDI). To become a GDI installers have to demonstrate technical competency mapped out in PAS2030 framework and abide by the Green Deal Code of Practice.
The customer will need to send the quotes to NEF and advise NEF which quote they want to accept. Once they have done this NEF will send the customer and their selected GDI a formal offer of grant. This formal offer will state the maximum cost of work that will be funded by the grant programme.
The Installer arranges to do the work with the householder and completes the install and also collects any deposits and final contributions outstanding from the project.
The grant payment will be paid by NEF to the installer once the works have been complete and the customer has signed off the job as complete.
Typical Questions on Grant Coverage
I live in Ealing Broadway – can I get a grant for external wall insulation?
That is correct – as Ealing Broadway is in the borough of Ealing you will qualify for the external solid wall insulation grant. Also if you live in Greenford, Acton, Perivale and Northolt you will also be in the appropriate catchment area to receive this grant.
My mother is on pension credit in Gerrard’s Cross, can I get any help with insulation costs?
Since Gerrard’s Cross falls into the South Bucks district and your mother is in receipt of a qualifying benefit, there is help of up to £5,200 towards the cost of external or internal wall insulation.
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