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Anger as government closes green building scheme

The government has closed phase 1 of the Low Carbon Buildings Programme (LCBP), giving some contractors less than one hour to react.

On 3 February, DECC announced that: “LCBP, Phase-1 and Phase-2 has closed to all new applications for grants for electrical microgeneration as of 5pm, Wednesday 3rd February,” - later the same day.

The LCBP was the main government grant scheme for on-site renewables installations. Phase 1 of the programme offered grants to homeowners for domestic renewables installations to install energy saving measures. It had been due to remain open until the end of March.

The Renewable Energy Association (REA) has reacted angrily. Its head of On-site Renewables Stuart Pocock said: “The speed of the announcement means many homeowners will not have been able to submit their applications in time and may potentially be left out of pocket after submitting planning applications.

“Some may put down a deposit on an installation’. He goes on to say, ‘It is now essential that Government ensures that the benefits of the recently announced Feed-in Tariffs are quickly communicated to consumers.”

Feed-in Tariffs, due to go live in April this year, will be the only funding mechanism available to the general public for renewable electricity installations.

DECC said that the remaining un-allocated LCBP funding would be focussed on thermal microgeneration in the run-up to the introduction of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), scheduled for April 2011.

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