Green deal installers should register so customers can access home improvements grants
Green deal installers and providers are being invited to register to be able to offer new cash incentives to their customers.
The government’s newly announced green deal home improvement fund (GDHIF) offers homeowners grants of up to £6,000 for solid wall insulation and/or up to £1,500 for other energy-saving measures. But homeowners can only access this funding if the work is carried out by registered installers.
Green deal installers and providers need to register by signing the terms and conditions which they should have recieved by email on 1 May 2014. In return your company will appear on a list of registered participants on the green deal oversight and registration body (GDORB) website – the place where many homeowners go to find their local green deal suppliers.
The GDHIF scheme will open at the beginning of June and gradually replace the old green deal cashback scheme which closes to new applicants on June 30.
In order to access the funding, homeowners will need the work to be recommended on an energy performance certificate (EPC) from the last two years or on a green deal advice report (GDAR). They then apply for a voucher from the scheme administrator and must have the work carried out within six months. Redemption of the voucher – countersigned by the installer – happens upon proof of completion of the work. In order to redeem it, your customers will also need copies of invoice(s), PAS2030 Claim(s) Confirmation and a copy of their green deal advice report invoice.
The new fund will be of most benefit to those installing solid wall insulation who will be able to claim up to 75 percent of the cost of the installation back, up to a ceiling of £6,000. The second stream of funding is available to provide up to £1,000 to those wishing to install up to two measures from a list of an additional twelve. These include:
a replacement condensing mains gas boiler (one only)
double glazing (to replace single glazing over at least 50 percent of property)
secondary glazing (to at last 50 percent of the property)
replacement doors (at least two external doors)
cavity wall insulation (at least 50 percent of external walls)
floor insulation (at least 50 percent of the ground floor)
flat roof insulation (to the total flat roof area of the property)
room-in-roof insulation (must insulate all of the roofs)
replacement warm air units (one only)
replacement storage heaters (at least three)
flue gas heat recovery units (one only), and
waste water heat recovery units (one only)
There is an additional £500 available to anyone carrying out the improvements on a house they have bought in the last 12 months.
The government hopes that the new scheme will reignite interest in the green deal, by offering more grants for energy saving measures plus the chance to claim £100 back on the cost of a green deal assessment. The scheme can also work in conjunction with green deal finance, potentially allowing people to borrow greater amounts to carry out other measures. Customers who have received funding from the energy company obligation (ECO) however, will not be eligible to claim.
Some critics have warned that the GDHIF will mean the end of the green deal assessor since homeowners need only pay for an EPC rather than a full green deal advice report in order to access grants. There are also fears that the scheme will lead further away from a ‘whole home’ approach to energy efficiency. The absence of the occupancy assessment that forms part of the green deal advice report will mean people will be less educated about how to cut their energy use. Furthermore, since homeowners may only opt for measures that are grant funded, wider measures, such as low energy lightbulbs or renewable energy technologies may be overlooked.
However, the scheme has largely been welcomed by those in the green deal industry. Writing on the LinkedIn group Green Deal, Chris Read from EPC Partners, says the removal of the need for a green deal advice report will generate more work for installers and manufacturers. “If it’s a success and there is traction in the marketplace you can expect the GDAR to be dropped in favour of the EPC… I don’t think this needs to be a bad thing for green deal assessors as they can simply get on with doing simple EPCs, so it’s win-win all round.”