Energy efficiency in homes ramps up with new Green Deal Home Improvement Fund

Energy efficiency in homes is being given a big boost by the Government’s new Green Deal Home Improvement Fund announced today.

Households carrying out energy efficiency improvements on their home can now get more money back to offset the cost of having the work done. The Green Deal Home Improvement Fund also applies to private or social landlords, who can benefit if they undertake to improve the property and are paying the costs themselves.

It’s a good start, particularly as the Green Deal has been such a poor performer since its inception just over a year ago but we think the Government could have gone further, by making the scheme more flexible and inclusive.

The new measures will definitely help to reduce energy bills but over the longer term and, equally important, cut carbon emissions but there are neglected areas, like low energy lighting and active promotion of water saving efficiencies that really need to be addressed.

These extra measures, helping people to fit LED lighting, eco showers, eco taps and tap aerators have an immediate effect on bills, pay for themselves very quickly and go on cutting costs with reduced carbon footprint year after year.

From next month, people in England and Wales will be able to get up to £7,600 back through a new Green Deal Home Improvement Fund so they can take control of their bills and have warmer, greener homes.

Energy efficiency

The June launch of the scheme will help people to install energy efficiency measures such as solid wall insulation and new heating systems by providing them with money back on the contributions they make towards improvements.

It opens up the market for smaller businesses in the energy efficiency sector, competing in new and innovative ways and providing further opportunities for jobs and growth.

The Government is calling on Green Deal Installers and Providers to register with the scheme now.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey says: “The best way for households to take control of their energy bills is to use less energy. Faulty boilers, draughty windows and insufficient insulation all cause properties to leak hundreds of pounds every year. But advice and support through the Green Deal can help put a stop to this.

“By installing energy saving improvements, families across the country can enjoy the benefits of warmer, more energy efficient homes and lower bills.”

LED lighting

The average annual bill saving from installing major measures such as solid wall insulation in a three-bed semi-detached house is £270, while savings from other measures such as upgrading a boiler can knock around £100 off a customer’s bill.

We’d just add that combined savings through LED lighting and water-saving solutions can reduce the annual utility bills in a typical home by as much as £650. LED lighting alone can shrink an annual electricity bill by around £250. Read our Guide to LED lighting to find out more

Under the new incentive scheme, which is available from June, domestic energy customers can get:

•             up to £1000 for installing two measures from an approved list; and/or

•             up to £6000 for installing solid wall insulation; and

•             up to £100 refunded for their Green Deal Assessment.

The scheme also 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.

Energy Performance Certificate

To be eligible, 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 this new initiative with funding from the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), the Green Deal Communities Scheme or the existing Cashback scheme for the same installation.

However, households that have previously benefited from ECO or Green Deal Cashback may apply for funding for further improvements provided an EPC or Green Deal Advice Report recommends them.

More information on the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund is on the Department of Energy and Climate Change website.



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