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Green Deal gets £100m boost

A new £100 million boost is set to revive the Green Deal energy efficiency scheme’s Home Improvement Fund, which closed in July after just six weeks due to overwhelming demand.

A new £100 million boost is set to revive the Green Deal energy efficiency scheme’s Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF), which closed in July after just six weeks due to overwhelming demand.
 
The announcement was made by energy and climate change secretary, Ed Davey, at the Liberal Democrat party conference in Glasgow on 7 October. 
 
The GDHIF, which offered households up to £7,600 for a range of energy efficiency measures, initially launched in June but closed little more than a month later after a surge in demand risked blowing the scheme’s £120 million budget.
 
Full details of the new funding will be announced by the Government next month.
 
‘Hot cakes’
 
Ed Davey said: “Green Deal Home Improvement Fund vouchers went like hot cakes earlier in the year and now even more people can cut their energy bills by making their homes more energy efficient.”
 
The good news is likely to be well received by the energy efficiency industry, but some have voiced concerns about the potential for another ‘boom and bust’ cycle of support. 
 
‘Temporary solution’
 
John Alker, director of policy and communications at the UK Green Building Council, said: “This funding is a timely – but ultimately temporary – solution to encouraging energy efficiency.
 
“Ed Davey should be applauded for securing the cash from Treasury, but we need to move beyond the stop-start incentives which damage business confidence. 
 
“All parties must recognise that home energy efficiency is an infrastructure priority, with public investment needed to create the confidence for the private sector to scale up investment over the long term”, he added.
 
Non-domestic sector
 
Despite concerns over long-term market signals in the domestic energy efficiency market, a new report – supported by the UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) and Bloomberg New Energy Finance – has found evidence of increasing confidence in the non-domestic market.
 
The Energy Efficiency Trends report, published by analysts EEVS Insight, surveyed energy efficiency equipment suppliers and consumers in the non-domestic sector and found business confidence to be at an “all-time high”.
 
Greater Manchester
 
In other news, residents in Greater Manchester are now able to access a new ‘create your Little Bill offer’ tool on the Greater Manchester Energy Advice (GMEA) website, which will provide information on discounted energy efficiency improvements specifically available for their home and circumstance.
 
According to the GMEA, 3,402 enquiries from the public were received between May and September this year, leading to 752 referrals to Greater Manchester’s three Green Deal Partners: Keepmoat Regeneration, Wates Living Space and Willmott Dixon.
 
Supply chain support
 
Support for SMEs in the local supply chain is also accelerating, with a number of workshops set to be hosted by the University of Salford’s Retrofit Innovation Network before the end of the year.
 
Upcoming events will focus on financing retrofit, performance gaps and hygrothermal risk. Full details of each will be published in future issues of Green Intelligence.