Community groups could get extra green deal cash
Groups of tenants who sign up for work to improve the energy efficiency of their homes could get cash payments from the government.
A discussion paper on a ‘cash back’ scheme to encourage take up of the green deal, published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change yesterday, suggests groups could receive higher payments than individuals to encourage bulk adoption of the initiative.
Under the green deal households will be able to get energy efficiency improvements made to their homes without any up front cost. They will repay the cost of the work, with interest, using the savings in fuel bills.
Where the cost of the measures exceeds fuel bill savings over 25 years, additional support will be available through a £1.3 billion annual charge on energy suppliers – the energy company obligation.
Last year chancellor George Osborne announced £200 million has been set aside to encourage take up of the green deal, but the government has not yet said how this will be spent.
The discussion paper published by DECC, which has been sent to a group of ‘pioneer’ green deal providers, suggests some of the money could be spent on the cash back scheme. This would run from the launch of the green deal, which is scheduled for October this year, until March 2014.
Payments would be based on the green deal measures installed, with a set amount attached to each type of energy saving measure that is covered by the scheme. Measures part funded through ECO would also be eligible, although those that qualify for incentive payments for renewable energy generation would not.
As well as considering making higher payments for group applications, DECC is also examining whether there could be a mechanism for allowing cash back payments to be invested in projects that benefit the wider community.