OFTEC has welcomed the announcement from DECC that the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) has been extended with a further £100 million of funding available from the end of November.
However, OFTEC is calling for adjustments to be made to the second phase of the scheme to ensure the same energy saving measures are made available to all homeowners, regardless of where they live, that is to include off-grid customers who typically use heating oil for their energy requirements.
Under the original GDHIF, the option to upgrade to a modern, high efficiency condensing boiler was limited to consumers on mains gas only – a decision which clearly discriminated against the country’s two million rural, off gas grid homes.
With fuel poverty such a critical issue and one which is more prevalent in rural areas, it is vital these households have access to the full range of energy saving measures to help them reduce their fuel bills.
OFTEC director general Jeremy Hawksley says: “With the price of oil falling and other heating fuels becoming more expensive, it makes no sense for oil condensing boilers to be excluded from the GDHIF.
“It’s excellent news that DECC is to extend the scheme but in order for the GDHIF to benefit those who need it most, the scheme needs to be all inclusive. “And simply improving insulation is not enough. Homes also need help to install more efficient heating as there are still thousands of old, outdated boilers running in UK homes in urgent need of replacement. “Installing a modern condensing oil boiler can save up to 20% on fuel bills and also reduce carbon emissions, providing a greatly beneficial, yet affordable first step towards energy efficiency. And the great thing is that an oil condensing boiler can easily be combined with a renewable technology such as solar thermal, in the same way as a gas boiler can, to provide further energy savings in the future.”
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