Cashback fund closes after less than two months

The Green Deal Home Improvement Fund closed on 24 July 2014, “due to overwhelming popular demand” and the £120m budget being fully allocated. Applications for £70m were made in the last few days before the fund was closed. This is now another example of short-notice changes in government policy on energy efficiency and renewables. Although much has been achieved by the policies when in place, the rapid changes have severely dented both business and consumer confidence. We need more stability and better leadership.

For more on the fund closure see:

The Green Deal scheme and finance remain available without the added benefit of the short-lived improvement fund.

New cashback fund for energy saving home improvements

solid wall insulation exteriorFrom 1 June 2014, the Government’s new Green Deal Home Improvement Fund allows you to claim back 75% of the costs of installing solid wall insulation, up to a maximum of £6,000. The Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) says: “This is the best offer yet for most people wanting solid wall insulation and a great opportunity to get it installed”.

You can also get up to £100 back for the cost of the initial Green Deal Assessment and claim back £1,000 for installing two new energy efficiency improvements at once from the list below:

  • Condensing gas boiler
  • Double glazing (replacing single glazing)
  • Secondary glazing
  • Replacement doors
  • Cavity wall insulation
  • Floor insulation
  • Flat roof insulation
  • Room-in-roof insulation
  • Replacement warm air unit
  • Replacement storage heaters
  • Flue gas heat recovery units
  • Waste water heat recovery

Plus, if you’ve moved into your house in the last 12 months, you can get an extra £500 cashback on top of all this.

Full details are on the Government’s website.

CSE’s Home Energy Team can advise Somerset households and make a referral to a local company. Apply online or phone CSE on 0800 082 2234.

The Energy Saving Trust offers a quick Home Energy Check, which provides an online guide to the cost-effective improvement measures for lowering your energy bills and making your home more comfortable.

Funding for renewables

There are three government schemes to provide funding or loans for small-scale renewable generation at home or by communities and businesses. Both the Feed-in Tariff and Renewable Heat Incentive help to make renewable generation a good investment.

For those without investment funds, the Green Deal can provide a loan for energy-saving measures, such as insulation, and for renewable energy generation, including solar panels. The loan is paid back through energy bills and should be exceeded by the value of energy savings and incentives, which means installations can be funded without incurring additional net costs.

Until the end of June 2014, there is also a Green Deal Cashback Scheme, which is a first-come, first-served offer whereby you can claim cash back of up to £4,000 from the government on a large number of energy saving improvements.

Feed-in Tariff

The best known financial incentive for renewable energy is the Feed-in Tariff, which can be claimed for domestic, community and business installations generating renewable electricity. Technologies covered are solar photovoltaic panels, wind turbines, water (hydro) turbines, anaerobic digestion (biogas energy) and, currently, micro combined heat and power.

Information and links for further details are given at costs, benefits and the Feed-in Tariff.

Renewable Heat Incentive

The Renewable heat incentive (RHI) is similar to the Feed-in Tariff, but is paid for renewable heat generated by solar thermal panels, air, ground or water source heat pumps and biomass (such as wood) heating. It can be paid to home and business owners and also to landlords and providers of social housing.

The Energy Saving Trust publish a guide to eligibility for the Renewable Heat Incentive.

For RHI for homeowners, see guides provided by YouGen and Ofgem.

For RHI for businesses, see guides provided by Ofgem and YouGen.

Green Deal

The Green Deal is an innovative financing mechanism that allows you to pay for some or all of the cost of energy-efficiency improvements through savings on your energy bills. A feature of a Green Deal loan is that it is tied to the property, so, if you move, the new owner benefits from the savings but also takes over the loan.

Green Deal guides are available from YouGenEnergy Saving Trust and the Government.

Also see:
• Money Saving Expert – The Green Deal mythbuster
• Which? – The Green Deal explained