Closure of Government renewable funding scheme

Closure of LCBP paves the way for further green incentives

 

LCBP is cut, but further incentives get the green light

The Government’s Low Carbon Buildings Programmes (LCBP) has been closed to new applications following the £6 billion cuts which have been implemented to cut the budget deficit.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) which runs the LCBP is contributing £85 million to the total departmental cuts, spelling the end for new applications to the scheme.

Applications submitted before 24 May 2010 worth £63 million for payment in 2010-2011 are not affected by the cuts, and where grant offer letters have been issued they will be processed.

The scheme has seen success in increasing the number of low and zero carbon installations in domestic properties and developing and base of registered installers in the UK since 2006, and an estimated 20,000 grants have been approved and paid since the LCBP succeeded from the Clear Skies incentive.

The short-notice closure of the scheme has raised questions over the coalition Government’s green credentials given that a commitment to renewable and sustainable energy played a large role in both Conservative and Liberal Democrat manifestos during the last election campaign.

However, the closure of the LCPB does pave the way for other incentives to help ease the financial burden of going green, such as the Renewable Heat Incentive and Feed-in Tariff schemes. The Government has also announced plans for green loans which would be administered from a green investment bank.

These could see loans given to households and businesses to be spent on carbon reducing methods such as insulation and microgeneration technology. The loans are expected to be secured against properties rather than individuals and a ‘pay as you save’ approach means that they would be paid back through the reduced energy bills.

Details of the Government’s plans are as of yet unconfirmed until the proposed Energy Security and Green Economy bill is announced later this year.

While the closure of the LCBP may leave people looking to invest in low and zero carbon technologies in the lurch until the Renewable Heat Incentive starts in April 2011, there are still a number of low carbon and renewable energy incentives available on the market for both domestic and commercial properties.

James Hargreaves Group

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