UPDATE 16th Feb 2021 : See our latest article about the government's Green Homes Grant Fiasco!
As part of the government’s promise to move the country towards more energy-efficient measures, Chancellor Rishi Sunak introduced the Green Homes Grant in July. The scheme will be officially launched in September and will run until March 2021.
What is a Green Homes Grant?
In short, the Green Homes Grant is a scheme that will see the government paying two-thirds of the cost of home improvement works that are designed to make houses more energy-efficient – this amount will be up to the value of £5000. For those households in the low-income bracket, eligibility will be 100% up to around £10,000. Improvements that people may choose to make to their properties include but are not limited to double glazing, cavity wall or roof insulation and air source heat pumps. The scheme does not include gas boilers.
The government has already confirmed that the scheme will be available to homeowners, including social and private landlords, and owner-occupiers.
How will the Grant work?
The government has yet to release full details of exactly how the scheme will work. However, they have confirmed the following information about how the scheme will work for those people who are interested in taking them up on the grant.
Getting advice on what improvements to make
Later this month the Simple Energy Advice (SEA) service will be opening up their online support and advice help desk. Anyone who feels that they may benefit from the Green Homes Voucher Scheme will be able to get in touch with them. This process will involve taking details about the type of property that is involved and any insulation or double glazing that it may already have in place so that the best recommendation can be made based on the details of your property. They will be able to recommend the types of improvement that you may wish to consider based on the kind of improvement that the scheme will support.
Choosing a tradesperson
Once this has taken place, the homeowner will be offered a list of all of the MCS and TrustMark registered tradespeople in their area who are able to carry out the work. It will then be up to each individual homeowner to contact those companies and tradespeople on the list to discuss their requirements. Once the work has been agreed on and dates arranged for the work to take place, vouchers will be issued. Depending on your situation you may receive vouchers for the two-thirds of the work (up to £5000) that the government will fund under the scheme, or more for low-income households. It is important to note, however, that the vouchers from the government will not begin to be issued until the end of September when the work can commence.
How do you get the voucher?
Once the work has been agreed on and dates arranged for the work to take place, then vouchers will In order to get the voucher each individual homeowner will need to make an online application including details of the energy-efficient improvements that they wish to make to their home.
It is worth noting that the government has split these measures into 2 different categories: primary and secondary. In order to qualify for the scheme, a homeowner will need to install at least one of the primary category measures. They can install more or add a secondary one, but they must choose one of the following:
- i. insulation – this could be loft, cavity wall or under-floor insulation
- ii. low carbon heating – for example, air source heat pumps, ground-source heat pumps or solar thermal
If a homeowner has applied to install one of these as part of the scheme they can, if they want, select a measure from the secondary list as well. This includes
- i. double or triple glazing – if you are replacing single glazing
- ii. energy efficient doors – if you are replacing a door that was fitted before 2002
- iii. draught-proofing
- iv. heating controls and insulation – for example, thermostats and smart heating controls.
The vouchers that apply to these secondary measures will have the same cap as those in the primary category.
In order to get the voucher, you will require a quote from one of the approved suppliers. The work will then also need to be approved by the scheme. Once both of these criteria have been met, the voucher will be issued.
Whatever type of home you’re in, it is well worth looking into whether you can go about taking advantage of the green homes grant to get help with making your home more energy-efficient, thus reducing your energy bills. Not only could you save money in the long run, but you could also be helping the environment too.