A new Government scheme means you could get up to £7,600 for making your home more energy-efficient under its Green Deal scheme.

The Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) is designed to help with costs for 14 of the most common energy efficiency measures, including cavity wall insulation, new boilers and double glazing.

It launches today and replaces the existing Green Deal cashback scheme, which closes on 30 June.

What is the Green Deal?

The Green Deal's designed to encourage people to upgrade boilers, install loft or cavity wall insulation and much more. An assessor visits your home, recommends improvements, then you get the work done. (See the Green Deal Mythbuster for a full explanation.)

You can pay upfront for the measures yourself, or you can borrow money from the Green Deal finance scheme - and pay back from the savings you make on your utility bills.

Money's also been available from the Green Deal cashback scheme – and from today, the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund.

How does the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund work?

In total, £7,600 per household is available from the GDHIF. But in reality, it's unlikely you'd fit the criteria to get the full funding.

There are four main offers available. Which ones you're eligible for will depend on what measures you're installing.

  • Offer 1: Install two of the 'main' energy saving measures (see our Green Deal Mythbuster guide for a full list) and get cashback up to £1,000.
    To get the full £1,000 you need to install two of these measures and spend at least £1,000 on parts and labour in the installation.
  • Offer 2: Install internal or external solid wall insulation and get up to £6,000.
    Solid wall insulation's expensive and disruptive to install, but it stops heat escaping from your home. It usually costs between £4,000-£14,000 to install, and you can claim back 75% of your costs up to a maximum £6,000.
  • Offer 3: Get £100 of your assessment cost refunded.
    To install measures under the Green Deal scheme, an assessor needs to visit your home to check it's suitable and whether you'll save from installing energy-efficiency measures. These assessments usually cost £100-£150, but you'll be able to get £100 back when you install measures recommended by the assessment.
  • Offer 4: Get a £500 bonus if you've bought a home in the past year and are improving it.
    If you install measures in your home within 12 months of owning it, you can get a £500 bonus on top of any other cashback.

How does the old cashback scheme work?

Under the old cashback scheme, a pot of up to £125 million is available for people installing measures through the Green Deal scheme. But the latest figures show that only £4.4 million of this has so far been paid out.

It provides cashback for individual measures being installed, for example £150 for loft insulation and £270 if you upgrade your boiler.

Cashback's available on up to 18 improvements.

Which scheme should I go for?

If you've agreed a Green Deal plan since 1 April, you've a choice between the two schemes. The same applies if you agree one before 30 June. But you need to decide by 31 July which one to go for.

We've crunched the numbers to find which one you'll get the most out of:

It's best to stick with cashback if:

  • You're installing any of the following: loft insulation, draught-proofing, oil boiler upgrades, heating controls or hot water cylinder insulation, as these aren't eligible for cashback under the new scheme.
  • You're installing only one improvement measure that qualifies for cashback. You'd earn up to £650 (depending on what you installed), compared to nothing under the home improvement fund.
  • You're installing a combination of double/triple/secondary glazing and flat roof insulation. The cashback from these two measures comes to more than the £1,000 you can get under GDHIF.

It's best to go for the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund if:

  • You're installing solid wall insulation, provided it costs you £5,300 or more. You'd get £4,000 to £6,000 with this compared to a maximum of of £4,000 under the old scheme.
  • You're installing two of the 12 measures listed under Offer 1 of GDHIF and your installation costs are £1,000 or more. You'd get the full £1,000 with this compared to £110- £970 under the old cashback scheme.
  • If you've moved house in the last 12 months. You'd get £500 with this compared to nothing under the old cashback scheme.
  • If you're installing measures which aren't eligible for cashback, as in this case you'd still get £100 back for your assessment, which you don't under the old cashback scheme.

For more on how the Green Deal works, see the Green Deal Mythbuster guide.