Thousands of households won’t be able to use Govt.’s Green Deal scheme: Oftec

An estimated 850,000 homes in rural England and Wales will not be able to take advantage of the recently announced Green Deal Home Improvement Fund scheme to upgrade their boiler because the scheme only applies to gas-fired boilers.

The scheme announced by the UK Government's Department of Energy & Climate Change will allow households in England and Wales to receive up to £7,600 back on upgrading their boiler.

Under the Green Deal scheme, people can secure up to £1,000 for installing two environment-friendly measures from a list approved by the government; another £6,000 for setting up ling solid wall insulation plus a refund of up to £100 for their Green Deal Assessment. Those who purchased a property in the year before applying to the scheme could also qualify for an additional £500 in case they make energy-efficiency improvements.

But, as the scheme applies only to gas-fired boilers, oil-fired heating trade body Oftec has warned that a vast majority of people would not be able to take advantage of the scheme, which would be discriminatory and unfair.

Oftec Director General Jeremy Hawksley said, "The vast majority of people in rural Britain live in homes with old, inefficient boilers and so will not be able to upgrade to modern high-efficiency models under the new arrangement. This is clearly discriminatory and unfair."

Hawksley also appointed out the recent Consumer Focus report that revealed that nearly 99 per cent of rural households in England and 47 per cent in Wales have to spend more than a ten of their income on keeping their home warm.

A few weeks back, the Government announced the launch of a domestic Renewable Heat Incentive scheme, encouraging rural households to adopt new heating technologies to cut fuel costs and Co2 emissions, but Oftec argued that high upfront cost of between £8,000 and £19,000 made such schemes fit for only the wealthy.