The scheme, which was launched in January 2013, was introduced to encourage homeowners to reduce their carbon emissions by upgrading their boilers, improving insulation and introducing a number of other energy-saving measures.
The changes mean than the cashback received by those who applied to join the scheme on or after 13th December 2013 will be significantly increased. Cashback available for those installing solid wall insulation has been increased from £650 to up to £4000. “Room in roof” insulation, suitable for those with loft conversions, has also increased from £220 to up to £1000, while installing double glazing can see a household receive up to £650 from a previous £320.
Changes have also made the scheme more lenient as to who can receive the maximum level of cashback, with the cap on cashback payments being raised from 50% of the household’s contribution towards costs, to 2 thirds, allowing more households to enjoy maximum benefit.
Those hoping to benefit from joining the Green Deal scheme now have until the end of June 2014 to submit their application after the deadline was extended by 3 months. All installations must be completed, and vouchers redeemed by 30th September 2014 for the household to benefit from the cashback scheme.
The government hopes that by increasing cash incentives and extending application deadlines, more households will be encouraged to join the scheme and improve the energy efficiency of their homes, which is crucial if the UK is to reach its carbon targets by 2050. Since its launch in January 2013, interest in the Green Deal has so far been underwhelming with just 1,612 households having active Green Deal plans last month, when the scheme reached its first birthday.
There are hopes that the changes will be especially effective for driving interest in solid wall insulation, which currently makes up just 2% of all cashback payments to date. Solid wall insulation has been shown to be especially useful for improving efficiency in hard to treat homes, and in helping those suffering from fuel poverty.
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