Industry reacted with bitter disappointment to the abrupt shutdown of the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) after a surge of applications drained the fund.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) announced the scheme’s closure “with immediate effect” on 24 July – just two days after announcing changes to the fund and urging people to snap up vouchers from the £120 million pot.
Roger Webb, Heating and Hotwater Industry Council director, said he was “outraged and frustrated” by DECC’s decision. Only the day before the announcement HHIC members had met with DECC to discuss the scheme, and were given no inkling it was to close.
He said: “I am extremely frustrated as right across the industry investment has been made to deliver this scheme – installers were required to become PAS2030-accredited, a scheme that HHIC strongly opposes due to the high costs and bureaucracy involved, through to the major investment made by manufacturers to bring products to market.” He added: “The whole sad affair just leaves the heating industry with a very bitter taste in our mouths.”
Worcester Bosch labelled the suspension of the GDHIF “a farce and a body blow to the heating industry”; while Baxi called on the government to go beyond quick fixes and start thinking long term.
Amber Rudd, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, 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.”