Up to £7,600 will be made available to households looking to make energy efficiency improvements on their homes, the government has announced.
Under its new Green Deal Home Improvement Fund, homeowners in England and Wales will be able to get money back on measures including solid wall insulation and new heating system installations, the Department for Energy and Climate Change has announced.
DECC has urged Green Deal installers and providers to register for the scheme now, which opens in June 2014.
Officials said the money will open up the market for smaller businesses in the energy efficiency sector.
Under the new incentives, domestic energy users could get:
- up to £1,000 for installing two measures from an approved list
- up to £6,000 for installing solid wall insulation
- up to £100 refunded for their Green Deal Assessment
A total of £50m has been made available at the incentive rates set out today, with an additional £70m to be made available for this financial year.
Energy secretary Ed Davey said the fund was the “best way for households to take control of their energy bills to use less energy”.
Energy minister Greg Barker said the fund would make it easier for people to improve their homes.
It is estimated the average annual bill saving from installing the energy efficiency measures would save a three-bed semi-detached house £270, with additional improvements such as boiler upgrades cutting bills by a further £100.
Speaking to Construction News, Keepmoat group sustainability director Nigel Bank said the fund was “more generous than previous measures… and softened the impacts to the recent changes around ECO”.
DECC caused outrage among the industry when it extended the timeframe for ECO [the Energy Companies Obligation] from two years to four and reduce the scheme’s Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation by 33 per cent up to 2017.
Energy suppliers are now required to make only 100,000 solid-wall insulation installations over the four-year period, despite 2012 seeing 80,000 installations alone.
Mr Banks added that it was “bizarre… smaller obvious, measures” such as loft insulation and heating control installation were not on the list (see blow) of measures accepted in the fund.
He also had concerns around the way the cashbacks were administered, with the money going into the customers back account within ten working days.
He said this could result in a Green Deal provider not being paid in full and that the government should consider paying the money directly to the installer.
John Alker, director of policy and communications at the UK Green Building Council, said: “We welcome this package of measures which represents a genuine attempt to rescue the Green Deal and shows that government remains committed to home energy efficiency. The increased cash-back for solid wall insulation is particularly encouraging following the cuts to ECO.
“But this isn’t ‘problem solved’ for the Green Deal. The scheme’s initial cash-back went unspent so it’s important that history doesn’t repeat itself. While this new package will certainly help, government still needs to go further to make energy efficiency more attractive to consumers.”
Households will be able to receive GDHIF funding for solid wall insulation or any of the two following energy saving measures:
- 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