4 Questions Answered About the Green Deal Closure
On July 23rd 2015 the green deal, the government’s flagship scheme to insulate homes, was put to rest. It lasted over two and a half years, launching at the start of 2013 when it was immediately under suspicion and drew many critics. Despite this it still managed to help thousands of homeowners make energy efficient improvements in one way or another.
However, it didn’t transform anywhere near the number of properties it set out to at the beginning. For those that took out a green deal loan, were in the process of receiving help or were considering it in the future there are a few questions that require answers.
Green Deal Closure – Why Has It Closed?
Essentially the Green Deal Finance Company (GDFC) which was providing the energy efficiency loans ran out of money. It had previously been bailed out with a £50m rescue package from the government but around nine months on the Department of Energy and Climate Change decided to pull the plug on funding. With the department facing a hard spending settlement with the Treasury the signs were never good.
In total just over 15,000 homes had taken out the loans or were in the process, with the scheme struggling to reach 10,000 in its first year. This didn’t help matters and even though the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund offering further grants increased interest and take-up, it wasn’t enough to persuade the Conservative government to keep funding flowing.
What Happens to my Deal?
The good news for anyone with an existing plan or an accepted application underway is that it will be largely unaffected by the closure. The GDFC stopped accepting applications with immediate effect from July 23rd 2015, so any that were processed and accepted before that date will still expect to receive all the finance and measures that were promised.
This also means that all repayments due under Green Deal Plans will still be collected as arranged. Any installations that were agreed, such as a new boiler or cavity wall insulation, will be carried out and financed as agreed. Anyone who applied for green deal funding on or after July 23rd 2015 will not receive anything as the GDFC closed applications with immediate effect.
Will there be a Replacement Introduced?
The short answer is no. The government has admitted it doesn’t have any form of replacement scheme in place but has promised to work with the building industry and consumer groups on energy efficiency. Some see this as a sensible move, saving taxpayers money with the scheme nowhere near as popular as expected. While others point to the lack of replacement as another instance of the government failing to deliver on green policies.
The blaming for the Green Deal closure is still ongoing, with the Green Investment Bank accused of not extending its loan facility which would have seen it survive. Others point to the government for cutting it off when it was starting to finally gather momentum while a mixture of these two and further factors combined all had a part to play.
Are There Other Options Available?
Thankfully there are still a few schemes running which provide free or discounted home insulation due to the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO). Contact your home energy provider to find out if they do, many are available to renters as well as homeowners. This is free as all energy companies need to meet specific government targets in line with ECO.
The government’s winter fuel payments still exist for helping elderly citizens afford their energy bills during the cold months. There are also incentives with feed-in-tariffs for installing solar panels and other renewable energy sources in your home. The green deal may be gone but a few financial aids for energy efficient housing still exist.