Green Deal: How to beat the rush to £5,600 of 'free cash'

If you want to get your hands on up to £5,600 of “free cash” in the third round of Green Deal funding, you’d better be ready to pounce when the money is made available on March 16, says the Telegraph.

The Government is making another £70m available to households who want to install solid wall insulation, boilers or double glazing, under the latest Government cash giveaway for energy efficiency work.

But, as with the previous tranches, the money is expected to run out quickly. The first round, worth £120m and which launched in June last year, was closed early after the funding ran out in six weeks. A second round launched in December and worth £24m ran out in just 24 hours.

Experts say this latest round of funding is likely to go within the week.

To maximise your chance of securing some vouchers, make sure you have already had a Green Deal assessment on your home. This costs £120 and must be completed before you can apply.

Once you have done this you can apply online for vouchers using a unique code contained in your report.

But expect problems getting through. When the last round of funding was released the Green Deal website crashed and phone lines were jammed.

Households can claim up to £3,750 for solid wall insulation and £1,250 for two other measures from an approved list. You can also claim a £100 rebate on the cost of an assessment of your property and new home owners, who bought in the last 12 months, can claim an extra £500.

How to apply

The vouchers are available to people who follow this three-step process:

1) A Green Deal assessment must be carried out by a registered provider – who provides a report recommending energy-efficient improvements to your home

2) Apply for vouchers online using a unique code contained in your report.

3) Vouchers in hand, employ a Green Deal-registered installer to carry out the work.

Before carrying out the work, it is up to you and your installer to work out how to pay. For example, the installer may ask for the full cost of works upfront, a deposit, or allow you to pay once the works have been completed. You pay with your own money and not the vouchers.

Once the work is complete, you need to ask your Green Deal installer to fill in your vouchers confirming that the improvements have been made and your home's Energy Performance Certificate is up to date.

Email the vouchers to enquiries@energy-saving-home-improvement-fund.service.gov.uk or call 0300 555 0201. You have six months from receiving the voucher to make this claim.

A Green Deal administrator will email you to let you know when your claim will be paid, with funds paid to you (rather than directly to the installer).

Martin Lewis, of MoneySavingExpert.com, warned households to act quickly to organise an assessment.

"There’s nothing that generates action better than free cash. Yet again demand is likely to be huge – this time I suspect £70m to last not much longer than a week," he said. "I’d suggest anyone who has already had a Green Deal assessment to be ready to pounce to make sure they aren’t left out in the cold. For those who haven’t but are interested, first do a quick online check which will tell you if it’s worth getting an assessment, if it is, then try and arrange one as soon as possible."