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Government under pressure to bring back GDHIF

The government is facing calls to bring back the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF), just a month after it was terminated.

Originally introduced to address criticisms of the Green Deal, which offers homeowners the opportunity to pay for energy efficient improvements to their property via a loan agreement, the GDHIF was cancelled well ahead of schedule following a surge in popularity that resulted in its budget being exceeded.

At the time, several industry bodies slammed the decision to scrap it with very little notice, raising questions over the possibility that it might not be long before the initiative is reintroduced.

The Insulated Render and Cladding Association (INCA) is now demanding the government does just that, in order to offer further support to those who are likely to struggle to pay their energy bills in the winter.

Chairman Padraig Barry said: "INCA is now working with the Department of Energy and Climate Change to establish the likelihood of GDHIF vouchers not being redeemed so that the scheme can be reopened quickly and make sure the money available is actually spent."

One of the areas to suffer as a result of the GDHIF's cancellation was the solid wall insulation (SWI) supply sector, with the improvement being a key focus of the scheme. Applicants were able to claim up to £6,000 back from the cost of the measure being fitted in the first phase of the revamped scheme, although this amount was reduced in the latter stage before the budget expired.

INCA has said it believes the contribution that SWI can make in terms of meeting energy reduction targets is vital and has also suggested it should be the centre of interest for another government initiative, the Energy Companies Obligation, which sees power suppliers help to subsidise the cost of such home improvements.

Posted by Rachel Jenkins


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