Exclusive: Government reveals GDHIF publicity plans to BMF

Details of a major publicity campaign by the UK Government to promote its new home improvement incentive scheme to households in England and Wales have been seen by the Builders Merchants’ Federation.

Exclusive: Government reveals GDHIF publicity plans to BMF

The Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) was announced in May by the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC). The new incentives replace the existing Green Deal Cashback scheme that ends on 30 June.

Under this new Fund, householders will be able to receive up to £7,600 towards the cost of energy-saving improvements – such as solid wall insulation and new heating systems.

The media campaign uses multiple channels – print & broadcast media, outdoor poster sites and digital online advertising – on both a national and regional level.

The first newspaper adverts appeared on Monday, 9 June and throughout June will be carried by most of the national daily and Sunday newspapers.

Only in certain parts of England will DECC be taking out advertising space in the regional daily and evening press in order to maximise awareness in those cities or counties in which there are known to be an above-average number of residents who have home improvements done. The BMF understands that Hampshire, Kent, Essex, Manchester and the West Midlands are the most likely areas that merchants, their customers and their customers’ customers will see the advert. The July edition of several home and garden lifestyle magazines will also feature in the campaign.

Two 30-second radio adverts will be broadcast in England and Wales during June. The BMF understands that Capital, Classic FM, Smooth and Heart are the main radio stations involved.

The Green Deal Home Improvement Fund will also be featured in an outdoor poster campaign. Adverts will appear on more than 3,000 sites around the country at the end of June. It is believed that sites have been picked due to their proximity to large home improvement retailers in an effort to target people who may already be thinking about having work done.

Brett Amphlett, BMF Policy and Public Affairs’ Manager, said: “From the very beginning of the Green Deal, the BMF repeatedly told Whitehall it was necessary for government to incentivise voters to act – and to spend taxpayers’ money on publicity campaigns to raise awareness. And we were repeatedly told there was no money available”.

“We applaud DECC for listening to us and adopting industry suggestions to give fresh impetus to explain and publicise the Green Deal. After all, the concept is fundamentally sound although it suffers from undue levels of bureaucracy that deter residents from having work done”.

Amphlett said the BMF was happy to help the Department publicise the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund – because it is in merchants’ interests to collaborate with their trade customers for mutual benefit. Small builders, contractors and installers are in direct contact with property owners on an everyday basis. They have the potential to make the Green Deal a success when talking to residents who are contemplating having home improvement work done.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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