The £120m Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) is empty and no new applications are being accepted, due to “overwhelming popular demand”.
In a message issued last night, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) explained that a jump in the number of applications received over the past two days meant the budget was completely exhausted.
All applications from households received before the scheme closed will be honoured and DECC will monitor how many vouchers linked to the GDHIF are cashed and will make further funds available if it turns out the initial fund will not be exhausted.
‘GDHIF has proved extremely popular’
Speaking on the scheme Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change, Amber Rudd, said: “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. As a result, many more families will now benefit from Government help to have warmer homes which use less energy.”
According to the Telegraph, homeowners who have carried out a Green Deal Assessment, but not yet registered for the GDHIF may find themselves £100 out of pocket.
What next for the Green Deal?
The GDHIF was originally described as a “Green Deal part two” after the initial scheme failed to gain much interest from the public. In fact, of a predicted 10,000 applicants by the end of 2013, only 2,828 had signed up as of this May.
Policy and Public Affairs Officer at the UK Green Building Council Richard Twinn said the government needed to balance the need for long-term energy efficiency drivers with short-term initiatives.
Speaking on the success of the GDHIF he told the Telegraph: “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.”