BMF disappointed with GDHIF closure

The Builders Merchants Federation has expressed its disappointment at the Government’s decision to close the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF).
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) closed the fund last week due to overwhelming demand, just six weeks after it was launched.

A spokesperson for the BMF said: “The BMF is very disappointed to hear this news. The Green Deal Home Improvement Fund 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”.

“This feast-and-famine approach is not at all helpful to businesses in planning their investment decisions, manufacturing processes, sales operations and trading forecasts for future years”.

“Don’t forget that everything rests on the vouchers being redeemed. Let’s just hope this is a temporary suspension – rather than complete closure – while DECC takes stock. 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”.

Launched on June 7th 2014, the GDHIF offered households up to £7,600 each to cover the majority, or in some cases all, of the cost of a variety of energy efficiency measures such as efficient heating.

But the DECC closed the fund due to overwhelming demand and surge of applications from homeowners, which has seen the allocated £120m fund pot exhausted.

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change, Amber Rudd, said in an official DECC press release: “The Green Deal Home Improvement Fund is a world first and in a short space of time it has proved extremely popular.

“We were always clear there was a budget which is why we encouraged people to act quickly.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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