Industry responds to closure of Green Deal Fund

Published:  25 July, 2014

The industry has expressed its disappointment following the Department of Energy & Climate Change's (DECC) announcement of the closure of the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF), effective immediately.

The DECC said that due to overwhelming public demand, the allocated budget has now been reached.

"On Wednesday this week (23 July) our members gave up their time to meet with two DECC representatives to discuss ways that the heating industry could further support this scheme – that’s two days ago and we were given no inkling that the scheme would be closing," said Roger Webb, director of the Heating & Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC).

"I am extremely frustrated as right across the industry investment has been made to deliver this scheme – installers were required to become PAS2030 accredited, a scheme that HHIC strongly opposes due to the high costs and bureaucracy involved through to the major investment made by manufacturers to bring products to market."

Mr Webb continued: "No one in DECC seems to understand or care what impact their lack of management has, they talk of trends yet seem unable to read and interpret data in a commercial way – they need to understand that the decisions they make affect people’s jobs.

"The whole sad affair just leaves the heating industry with a very bitter taste in our mouths."

The Builders Merchants' Federation (BMF) also expressed its disappointment, and hope this is only a temporary suspension.

A spokesperson from BMF said: "The GDHIF may not be a perfect solution to the underlying problem but it illustrates that cash incentives do entice families to act to improve the thermal performance of their home.

"There will be undoubted anger and exasperation in the supply chain that ministers have, once again, chosen to change direction in policy and cut funding at short notice without warning.

"Earlier this week, we learned that due to the Fund’s runaway success, DECC had modified the criteria to prolong the amount of money available. Yet a few days later, it has been closed.

"Having spent so much time and money on a major multi-channel advertising campaign to publicise the offer, it does seem odd to withdraw these incentives having stoked up interest from consumers."

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