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.
GDHIF is relaunching on the 10th December 2014 at 9am
The original GDHIF scheme was so popular, the funding lasted just 6 weeks, however the great news is that GHDIF is set to return!
What is the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund?
At the end of June 2014, the existing Green Deal Cashback scheme was replaced with the new Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF). The GDHIF launched at the beginning of June 2014, meaning there was a little overlap between the two schemes. Unfortunately, due to the generous nature of the funding, it lasted a mere 6 weeks, allowing only very few people to take advantage of the scheme.
Good news though, it has now been announced that the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund is due to reopen from 10th December 2014 at 9am.
Under the revised scheme, there is one headline change that has been made – the amount available for the installation of solid wall insulation has dropped from £6,000 to £4,000 so not quite as good, but still definitely worth considering. Also under the old scheme it would cover up to 75% of the job, now it will only cover 67% of the job.
The maximum grant therefore available to households in the new version of the scheme is £5,600.
The details of the revised GDHIF scheme can be seen below.
Eligibility Criteria for the GDHIF Scheme
To be eligible for the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund, the customer must:
- Be a householder living in either England or Wales (it is open to both homeowners and landlords (private and social)
- Have a Green Deal Assessment carried out within the last 24 months, and therefore in possession of the Green Deal Report (there is a £100 rebate for Green Deal Reports).
- The Green Deal Report must include the recommendations that the household wants to install.
- The application for the cashback must take place prior to any works being installed.
- Not receive any ECO or other Government Funding (although you can take out Green Deal finance with the GDHIF).
- When applying for the cashback, you must have received a quote from a Registered Participant for the Installation Work which includes name, address, the installation company as well the cost of the works.
What type of energy efficiency measures will the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund cover?
Nothing is new in this respect if you are already well informed about the Green Deal – as you will know it will allow you to pay for things like energy efficient boilers, heating controls, solid wall insulation and double glazing. The surprising exclusion from the list of measures included in the GDHIF is loft insulation.
How much cashback can I claim under the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund?
There are two core offers under the relaunched GDHIF incentive scheme which are detailed below, but you can take out both core offers together and therefore potentially you may be eligible for £5,600 in total.
GDHIF Core Offer 1:
Customers installing solid wall insulation (internal or external) are eligible to claim up to 67% of the installation cost up to a maximum of £4,000. For example if the works cost £3,000 in total – they would be eligible for £2,000 cashback and have to fund the other £1,000 out of their own pocket or via Green Deal finance. If the works cost £6,000 then they can claim the full £4,000 cashback and therefore will just need to fund £2,000.
In order to claim the cashback on GDHIF Core offer 1, the home must have at least 50% of the external heat loss walls insulated (i.e. there is not heat loss between terraced houses, so only the front and back need insulation) – 50% of this would need to be down to get the cashback.
GDHIF Core Offer 2
Core offer 2 is focused on the more traditional energy efficient measures but requires at least 2 measures to be installed from the list below. Customers can claim up to 75% of the combined installation costs up to a maximum of £1,000.
Energy Efficient Measures Included:
- Condensing mains gas boiler (one only)
- Cavity Wall Insulation (at least 50% of the external wall)
- Secondary glazing (at least 50% of the glazing)
- Double / Triple glazing (when replacing single glazing – and at least 50% of the glazing)
- Flat roof insulation (total area of all flat roof)
- Replacement warm-air unit
- Fan-assisted storage heaters (at least three)
- Energy Efficient replacement doors (at least two)
- Floor insulation (at least 50% of the ground floor)
- Room-in roof insulation (100% of roof area)
- Waste water heat recovery
Remember you need to take 2 of these measures to claim back any cashback!
Bonus GDHIF Offers
There are also two bonus offers provided you either take core offer 1 or core offer 2.
1. GDHIF Home Buyers bonus – £500
If you have purchased your home in the last 12 months you are entitled to an additional £500 cashback as a one off bonus.
2. GDHIF GDAR Bonus
The Government are keen to encourage homeowners to take out full Green Deal Assessments, therefore customers can claim up to £100 towards the cost of the Green Deal Assessment.
How do I apply for the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund?
Well, the best thing to do is to have a Green Deal Assessment – because having this on your property will mean a qualified surveyor can tell you all about the additional measures and funding streams that you can access via the Green Deal, such as Green Deal Finance.
A Green Deal Advice Report will also provide you with the necessary paperwork to submit your Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) application. So if you are installing Solar Thermal, an Air Source Heat Pump or Biomass boiler this report is needed
More good news! Although an Green Deal Assessor Organisation like ours would charge £132 (including VAT) for this assessment you can actually claim back £100 off that cost if you go through with the scheme and get measures installed resulting in a cost to you of just £32!
The other way is simply to use an EPC, however it needs to be less than two years old – the issue is that the EPC software automatically calculates the recommendations on the report. With a Green Deal Report, your assessor can select the measures you want installed – so for example if you need a new boiler, but it relatively new so there is little efficiency gain, an EPC would not recommend this, but a Green Deal Report can over rule the recommendations and recommend it regardless.
What happens next with the cashback process?
You will need to have your property assessed and any recommendations that come up on the Green Deal Assessment report or the EPC can be used to claim the cashback (subject to the conditions listed above).
You can then contact a Green Deal Provider or an Installer to facilitate the installation and registration process. Please note the Provider or the Installer have to be Green Deal Registered companies, so you cannot claim cashback from an installer down the road, unless they are PAS2030 certified. You can however claim cashback from any registered Green Deal Provider.
Our view is that it is probably still best to deal with a Green Deal Provider, in particular if you are looking to combine the energy efficiency improvements, because the Providers will have access to a wide network of trained installers, so will not only deliver you a boiler, but loft and solid wall insulation as well.
Also an Provider can give you additional funding via Green Deal Finance, which will mean that you will need to pay less out in upfront cost towards the cost of the job.
Is the Green Deal Home Improvement Plan a game changer?
We think that increasing the amount of funding available to home to get energy efficiency measures installed is a fantastic thing. The Green Deal, as it was set up, should be delivering insulation as well as upgrades to heating and renewable systems simultaneously as this is proven to be the most effective may of improving a property.
The key thing here is to make sure that as a nation we insulate and bring the heat demand of our homes down, whilst operating highly efficient heating systems. Combining the energy efficiency improvements in a multi-measure approach is the key to keep costs down and keep it simple for the customer, and the additional cashback now available should help to facilitate this.
Think we missed something? Do you have a different opinion?
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