There has been an angry response to news that the sums available to landlords under the government’s Green Deal has been cut back, with immediate effect.
From today, July 25, the most that landlords can claim overall has been cut to £5,600 from £7,600 - and the reason is that the scheme has been too popular.
The biggest detailed reduction is for funding for outer wall insulation. Until now landlords could claim up to £6,000 for installing solid wall insulation but that figure has been brought down to £4,000. And landlords should act quickly if they want financial assistance with flue gas heat recovery units - they will be removed entirely from approved measures that are eligible for support from August 5.
The Residential Landlords’ Association says the Green Deal home Improvement Fund recently reached the milestone of £50m in vouchers to home owners looking to improve their properties - possibly the reason why the Department of Energy and Climate Change has cut the funding.
“The RLA still recommends landlords to become involved with the scheme, but obviously, to expect to invest more individually” says the association.
However Richard Lambert, chief executive of the National Landlords Association, is less sanguine. “Just as the Green Deal looks like it will finally succeed, the government seems determined to sabotage its own policy” he says.
“The NLA made a strong case to DECC for the incentive payment for solid wall insulation projects to be set at a level that makes financial sense for the landlord to proceed with energy efficiency improvements to a property. We used data from the applications to our Green Deal service to justify our call for it to be set at or £6,000 and the success of the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund so far shows that this was the right level” he claims.
Lambert insists that lowering the incentive for solid wall insulation to £4,000 will inevitably push more projects beyond the capacity or willingness of the landlord to fund them.
“As the greatest proportion of solid wall properties are in the private rented sector this move therefore risks exempting a significant proportion of homes from meeting the energy efficiency targets set by DECC. The government urgently needs to reconsider restoring the funding” he says.