Manx home energy efficiency scheme to reopen

time:2023-06-01 09:43:34 source:CBS News

A £7m Isle of Man home energy efficiency scheme has been expanded to give property owners more choice over the improvements applied for.

Tynwald backed changes to the Manx government's green living grants, which Enterprise Minister Lawrie Hooper said had been "too restrictive".

A wider range of "useful and affordable" works will now be available to property owners, he added.

The scheme will reopen to new applications from December.

Treasury has agreed to budget a further £5m if required to fund any further grants.

Originally launched in 2021, the scheme was closed for a review in September, after some who tried to access the £6,000 grants found they could not always apply for the improvements they wanted.

Government-backed home energy audits, required as part any application, often did not list the "sensible and cost effective" changes property owners wanted to make, Mr Hooper said.

Applicants will now be able to chose works from a separate list, and not be limited to those prescribed in the audits, which Mr Hooper said had been the "fundamental problem" with the scheme previously.

Homeowners needed more flexibility to makes changes "in light of current energy crisis", he added.

When the scheme was established, the Department for Enterprise said it had the potential to lower emissions in about 1,200 properties on the island.

Calling for more to be done to increase uptake, David Ashford MHK said as only 87 grants had been approved in the 16 months since the scheme's inception, it would take 18 years to meet that goal.

Mr Hooper admitted the changes would "not fix all the problems" with scheme, but other measures were being developed to deal with issues such as support for low income families, and for more expensive home improvements.

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