The Green Homes Grant: What You Need to Know
The Covid-19 pandemic of 2020 has accelerated the UK government’s push towards a more sustainable green economy, and following the Chancellor’s July statement in which he made some £3 billion available to support the UK’s financial recovery it is expected that around two-thirds of this will be used to help householders and landlords make homes more energy efficient.
The help will come in the form of vouchers to cover the cost of upgrading to more efficient energy usage up to a maximum of £5000 in most cases, and will generally cover around two-thirds of the cost of any improvements made. According to the government, if someone has cavity wall and floor installation installed at an example cost of £4000 they would only need to pay £1,320 and the remaining £2,680 would be covered by the scheme.
The government has said that, depending on the size of the property and on the improvements made, annual savings on gas and electricity of up to £600 could be possible with the elimination of drafts being beneficial to health and the reduction in co2 levels benefitting the environment.
Green Homes vouchers are due to start being issued from the end of September.
Who Qualifies for the Green Homes Grant?
Private and social landlords, as well as owner-occupier homeowners, can apply providing the property is occupied full time, and this includes Park homes. Commercial properties and unoccupied new build homes will not qualify.
At the present time, the grants only apply to properties in England as different schemes are in operation in different parts of the UK. Low income or vulnerable households in Wales can find advice through the Nest scheme website on how to apply for free energy efficiency improvements. Scotland has the Warmer Homes scheme through which homeowners and private tenants in receipt of certain benefits could apply for a financial contribution towards energy improvement costs. Northern Ireland’s Affordable Warmth scheme provides up to £7,500 for energy improvements whilst their Boiler Replacement scheme offers grants of up to £1000 towards the cost of replacing a boiler which is 15 years or older.
What Can You Use a Green Homes Voucher For?
Certain conditions must be adhered to in order to qualify for a grant, the main one being that you must first have a ‘primary measure’ installed in the home before receiving further financial assistance. You must have one or more of the following qualifying measures in place to qualify for further funding, and these are:
- i. Solid wall, under-floor, cavity wall or roof insulation
- ii. Air source or ground source heat pump or a solar thermal system – any of these where the home has, or is having, wall and loft insulation.
A voucher can then be used for further energy-saving improvements including:
- i. Double or triple glazing to replace single glazing
- ii. Replacement energy efficient doors
- iii. Hot water tank/ appliance tank thermostats/ heating controls
Be aware that any financial assistance provided to pay for secondary improvements will not exceed the cost of the ‘primary measure’.
How to Apply for a Green Homes Grant
From late September onwards you can check the Simply Energy Advice website which will tell you whether you qualify for a voucher and how to apply. You can also find advice on which energy improvements are best for your home and also on other ideas for how you can make your home greener. You will also need to ensure that you use Trustmark-accredited and approved local tradespeople who can carry out the work. The Green Homes Grant voucher will be issued to you once the work has been agreed.
If you’d like further advice on what measures could be appropriate for your home and whether you could be eligible for help, why not get in touch. We’ll be happy to talk to you about what improvements might be good to consider, along with giving you all the help and support you need to get started on making your home more energy-efficient.