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BrianBerry

GDHIF Closure – Disappointment Continues

The decision to close the funding programme for the Green Deal has been greeted with further dismay

Having reported last week on the generally negative reaction to the shock decision by the government to close the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF), MyTradeTV has had further responses from trade associations that have invested time and resources into the scheme.

Brian Berry, Chief Executive, Federation of Master Builders (FMB), dismissed the argument put forward by the government for the step.“The Department for Environment and Climate Change (DECC) will argue that the fact that the GDHIF has run out in just six weeks is a sign of increased consumer interest in the Green Deal and energy efficiency more broadly,” he told MyTradeTV. “However, the flip side of this is that some energy efficiency installers will be left reeling after building their business and marketing plans around the Fund with the expectation that it would remain open for business until April 2015.

“Whichever way you look at it, what is clear is that despite this unexpected flurry of demand for energy efficiency vouchers, we are merely scratching the surface in terms of improving our existing homes. The government needs to pull as many levers as possible to incentivise this type of work and reduce VAT to 5% on housing renovation and repair. Independent research shows that this VAT cut would reduce our carbon emissions by 240,000 tonnes of CO2 over the five years to 2020 and stimulate the economy by £15 billion.”

The Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF) also expressed disappointment, although its was known for some time that it was losing heart with the scheme as a whole. “The sudden closure of the GDHIF is a disappointment as it was intended to last for a long period of time and offer stability to Green Deal,” observed Nigel Rees, Group Chief Executive, “yet it has ended after roughly two months from its inception.”

Mr Rees went on to state that the GDHIF had done “virtually nothing for the window industry as homeowners only qualified for the fund, if they were replacing single glazing. This was a relatively pointless requirement because there’s very little single glazing in owner occupier homes. It’s fair to say, no other industry had such a proviso put upon them and yet again the window industry has been offered practically nothing from this initiative. With such low impact during its existence there will be little difference to the replacement window industry now that it has closed.”

Caption                    Brian Berry, CEO, FMB – “what is clear is that despite this unexpected flurry of demand for energy efficiency vouchers, we are merely scratching the surface in terms of improving our existing homes”.

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