The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has closed applications for the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund due to “overwhelming public demand”.
DECC states that a surge in applications over the last couple of days has meant that the allocated budget for the scheme is now gone, therefore DECC will no longer be accepting applications.
Parliamentary under secretary of state for energy & climate change, Amber Rudd, defended DECC’s actions, stating: “We were always clear there was a budget which is why we encouraged people to act quickly.”
However, the sector has reacted furiously after DECC announced that the scheme was closed to applications late last night with no warning.
. @The80percentHub We always said applications subject to available funds but huge surge in applications meant limit reached sooner...— DECC (@DECCgovuk) July 24, 2014
The National Insulation Association has called on the department to investigate how the budget was allocated so quickly in just two days:
Urgent investigation needed by @DECCgovuk as c. £60m worth of GDHI vouchers applied for in just 2days.— Nat Insulation Assoc (@NIALtd) July 24, 2014
Last week DECC announced changes to the scheme that reduced potential payments under the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund. The department now states that it will "monitor voucher redemption rates and will consider whether to launch a further offer should funds become available".
Richard Twinn, policy and public affairs officer at the UK Green Building Council, said: “The sudden and immediate closure of this fund is another setback for the energy efficiency industry because companies have specifically geared up to market and deliver through this scheme.
“These constant changes are not helpful to industry. We now need urgent clarity as to whether government will bring forward any more money to ensure continuity of Green Deal work.
“This does demonstrate that we need long-term drivers, not short term pots of cash to avoid this continual cycle of boom and bust.”