Overview: Green Deal Home Improvement Fund

Houses from the air

An overview and initial analysis of the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund.

The government has announced the new Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) for householders to offset the cost of having the work done to the tune of up to £7600.

This is great news, right? Well, yes it is, because for the first time private householders can get some help towards the more expensive measures such as solid wall insulation as well as help with insulating areas that perhaps would have been placed on the ‘can’t be bothered’ pile.

It is also not reliant upon taking out Green Deal finance, though you can use this finance to help funds some of the cost of the installation. There’s also up to £120 million available between now and April 2015 – that could be up to 20,000 solid wall insulation measures. What happens after that date is anyone’s guess.

Let’s have a look a bit more closely…

When does it start?
June 2014

What money is available?

  • up to £1000 for installing two measures from an approved list (£1500 if you are a homemover); and/or
  • 75% of the costs of installation up to a maximum of £6000 for solid wall insulation; and
  • up to £100 refunded for their Green Deal Assessment.

Who is eligible for the fund?

If you live in England or Wales (there’s a separate scheme for Scotland) and you are:

  • A private domestic customers
  • Tenants
  • Private and social landlords

There are some rules, however surrounding this:

A customer must have the improvements recommended on an eligible Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), less than 24 months old, or a Green Deal Advice Report. Households cannot combine GDHIF with funding from the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), the Green Deal Communities Scheme or the existing Cashback scheme for the same installation. However, households having previously benefited from ECO or Green Deal Cashback may apply for GDHIF for further improvements provided an EPC or Green Deal Advice Report recommends them.

Landlords and tenants can apply for the scheme provided they are paying for the improvements themselves. Landlords are subject to de minimis thresholds for State Aid: they can’t have received more than €200,000 (approximately £160,000) of government funding in the last three financial years. Applications from a landlord will be checked against a running total of state aid payments and state aid benefits that the landlord has received to date.

What is on the approved list?

The usual suspects are there, but essentially, if you’re converting your loft, insulating the roof of that flat roofed kitchen extension or insulating a freezing hallway floor, then this announcement is good news.

Condensing gas boiler (on mains gas)
Double glazing (replacing single glazing)
Secondary glazing
Replacement doors
Cavity wall insulation
Floor insulation
Flat roof insulation
Room-in-roof insulation
Replacement warm air unit
Replacement storage heaters
Flue gas heat recovery units
Waste water heat recovery systems

Can the payment be backdated?

Yes. The scheme entitles those who have brought a property in the 12 months prior to application to qualify for up to an additional £500 if they carry out energy efficiency improvements.

What’s the process for householders to apply for and claim a GDHIF payment?

  • have a valid Green Deal Assessment Report or EPC which must have been carried out in the two years prior to application;
  • apply for measures as recommended on their assessment report or EPC;
  • register for their GDHIF voucher when the application website and telephone hotline number go live in early June;
  • once they have received their voucher, customers must have the improvements installed by a registered Green Deal Installer or Provider within six months;
  • once the work has been completed, submit their voucher – countersigned by the Green Deal Installer or Provider – with copies of the invoice, PAS2030 Claim(s) of Conformity, and their Green Deal Assessment Report invoice.

Once the GDHIF administrator has validated the voucher, customers will receive payment in ten working days if all documentation is submitted correctly.

 

So, there you have it – a sensible piece of funding that will help incentivise people to improve their homes. Arguably for the first time Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are getting a value for the consumer – a cash value that can be felt in the pocket for improvements. It will interesting to see how this pans out.

Hopefully the government will have learnt their lesson that for anything meaningful to come out of this, the funding needs to be there for the long term both for the householder, but also for the installers and providers. However, it’s a step and a good one at that.

 

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Kingspan Insulation is a market leading manufacturer of optimum, premium and high performance rigid insulation products and insulated systems for building fabric and building services applications.

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