Government has closed the £120 million Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) after just six weeks, citing “overwhelming popular demand”.
In a statement released on 24 July, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) announced that a surge of recent Green Deal applications means that the allocated budget for the fund has been reached and that it had been closed “with immediate effect.”
Around £70 million of applications had been received for nearly 10,000 households in just a few days in the lead up to the announcement.
The fund, which was supposed to run for a year, offered up to £7,600 to households undertaking a range of energy efficiency improvements through the Green Deal scheme.
Amber Rudd, parliamentary undersecretary of state for energy and climate change, said: “The GDHIF is a world first and in a short space of time it has proved extremely popular.
“We were always clear there was a budget, which is why we encouraged people to act quickly.”
However, the sudden closure of the fund has sparked a backlash from the energy efficiency industry, which has been burdened by cuts to the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme and the stop-start nature of the Green Deal, which until April this year had failed to live up to expectations.
Policy and public affairs officer at the UK Green Building Council, Richard Twinn, said: “The sudden and immediate closure of this fund is another setback for the energy efficiency industry because companies have specifically geared up to market and deliver through this scheme.
“We need long-term drivers, not short-term pots of cash, to avoid this continual cycle of boom and bust.”
DECC has published guidance regarding the closure of the fund and has asked those interested in finding out about future schemes to email email@example.com for updates.
Posted under Environmental Regulations and Legislation, Environmental Technologies and Renewable Energy, Construction, Energy and Renewables, Environmental Technologies and Other Manufacturing on 5 August 2014