Home owners are to be offered up to £5,600 each to install new boilers, insulation or double glazing, under the latest Government cash giveaway for energy efficiency work.
Up to £30m of funding will be made available from Wednesday through the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund, enabling households to claim some or all of the costs of home improvements at taxpayer expense.
The funding follows an initial £120m pot of cash that was given away in the summer, when home owners were offered up to £7,600 each. The fund proved so popular it was exhausted and forced to close early after just six weeks, drawing allegations of possible fraudulent applications and criticism from Labour.
The cash giveaways are part of Government efforts to cut carbon emissions and generate interest in energy efficiency after abysmally low take-up of an original Green Deal scheme, which offered home owners loans to finance the improvement themselves.
In October ministers had promised a further £100m would be available through the fund from November. A spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change said the delayed release of just £30m would be followed by a further tranche of funding in February.
“It can be harder for people to have work done over the winter months and we hope that this staggered release of funding will make it easier for customers and industry to make plans to have work done,” she said.
Of the £30m, £24m has been ring-fenced for solid wall insulation, with home owners able to claim up to £4,000 each. The other £6m will be used for claims of up to another £1,000 per home for installing any two approved measures on a list including storage heaters, condenser boilers and double glazing.
A further £500 can be claimed if the property was bought within the previous year and £100 cost of an assessment can also be reclaimed.
Jonathan Reynolds MP, Labour’s Shadow Energy and Climate Change Minister, said: “The Green Deal has been a total flop and the last round of the Home Improvements Fund was completely chaotic and closed just six weeks after it opened. Without a change of approach, the Government will just be throwing good money after bad.”
The UK Green Building Council said the latest round of funding involved “a more robust application process” which was “likely to result in fewer speculative applications and prevent the feeding frenzy witnessed last summer”.
Source:The Telegraph 8/12/14