The Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) was suddenly closed on 24 July 2014 due to overwhelming demand.

Applications were closed with immediate effect, news that has been met with dismay by many in the industry.

Newly appointed energy and climate change minister, Amber Rudd MP, announced that a sudden surge in applications had brought the Fund to the end of its allocated budget.

She 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. As a result, thousands more families will now benefit from government help to have warmer homes which use less energy.”

Earlier the same week, Decc had announced changes to the scheme caused by the hugely positive response since its launch at the beginning of June 2014.

Richard Twinn, policy and public affairs officer at the UK Green Building Council, voiced the disappointment of many in the industry, saying: “The sudden and immediate closure of this fund is another setback for the energy efficiency industry because companies have specifically geared up to market and deliver through this scheme.

“These constant changes are not helpful to industry. We now need urgent clarity as to whether Government will bring forward any more money to ensure continuity of Green Deal work.

“This does demonstrate that we need long-term drivers, not short term pots of cash to avoid this continual cycle of boom and bust.”

Tasha Kosviner, editor of renewable energy consumer website YouGen.co.uk added: "The GDHIF was welcome news to the thousands of households who were unable to claim solid wall insulation following the cuts to ECO. For the fund to run out just six weeks after launch is a big blow to both households and the renewable energy industry.

"Households who have paid for a green deal assessment in anticipation of claiming £100 back through GDHIF are now out of pocket and installers who registered with GDHIF in the hopes of increasing business from the scheme have also been left out in the cold.”

Kosviner continued: "Questions must also be asked about how more than £60m worth of vouchers came to be claimed in just two days. Decc need to look urgently and carefully at all the GDHIF vouchers that have been issued to ensure that all the claims made are genuine and will genuinely be benefiting those for whom the scheme was intended."

Decc has said it will monitor voucher redemption rates and will consider whether to launch a further offer should funds become available. It has said that all applications received prior to the fund closing, that satisfy the terms and conditions and meet the eligibility criteria, will be honoured at the original rates.

Photo: (C) David Fowler.