The new funding is part of a ‘step change on energy efficiency’ pledged by Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey at the Liberal Democrats Party Conference in Glasgow today (7 October).

“More money means more people can live in warmer, greener homes sooner, said Davey. “Green Deal Home Improvement Fund vouchers went like hot cakes earlier in the year and now even more people can cut their energy bills by making their homes more energy efficient.”

Short-lived solution

The original fund, which opened in June, offered a rebate up to £7,600 for people who made energy-saving domestic improvements. However, Ministers came under fire when the money for the scheme ran out in less than two months. In September, a report from the Energy & Climate Change Committee dually called for the Green Deal to be revitalised. 

The UK Green Building Council welcomed the Government plans, but warned that it is only a “temporary solution” to encouraging home energy efficiency.

UK Green Building Council director of policy and communications John Alker said: “As temperatures start to drop and households turn up their heating, this additional funding is a timely – but ultimately temporary – solution to encouraging energy efficiency.

“There’s no doubt that the Lib Dems understand the importance of home retrofit, and Ed Davey should be applauded for securing the cash from Treasury. But we need to move beyond stop-start incentives which damage business confidence.

“This funding could see us through to the General Election, but what happens after that? All parties must recognise that home energy efficiency is an infrastructure priority, with public investment needed to support the most vulnerable and to create the confidence for the private sector to scale up investment over the long term.”

Homeowners will be able to apply for the new funds in November.

Energy promises

At the Lib Dem Conference, Davey also reiterated his party’s record of delivery in ‘keeping the environment and green issues on the agenda’.

“Not only will we see lower energy bills, but we will dramatically cut fuel poverty, reversing Labour’s failure there too,” he added. “But we must do more. With the major new tax cut for energy efficiency in our pre-manifesto. A 10-year council tax cut – paid for by central Government – of at least £100 a year.” 

Brad Allen

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