£5,000 insulation vouchers part of upcoming green package

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A £3 billion green package with grants for homeowners and the public sector to improve energy efficiency will be unveiled by Rishi Sunak as part of his coronavirus economic strategy on Wednesday.

In a statement published on 6 July, the Treasury revealed that Sunak’s Summer Economic Update will ring-fence more than £3bn for environmental initiatives.

The largest single project within the plan will be a £1bn commitment to decarbonising public sector buildings, like schools and hospitals, as well as social housing, through retrofitting.

Mr Sunak will say that this funding will not only create jobs in the short-term and save public sector bodies’ costs, but spur progress towards net-zero and better the UK’s “future prosperity”.

A further £50m will be used to trial early-stage technologies, such as heat pumps, in the social rented homes considered England’s least energy-efficient.

Hundreds of thousands of homeowners will receive vouchers of up to £5,000 for energy-saving home improvements, the chancellor is also expected to announce.

Under the Green Homes Grant, the government will pay at least two-thirds of the cost of home improvements that save energy, the Treasury said.

The Treasury said the grants could help to support more than 100,000 jobs.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Business Secretary Alok Sharma added that the poorest households could receive up to £10,000 towards costs, and that double glazing would also be covered by the scheme.

Elsewhere, the package will contain multi-million-pound schemes centred around re-skilling and nature.

For example, a £40m Green Jobs Challenge fund will be created to help local authorities and environmental charities create nature conservation and restoration programmes.

Up to 5,000 jobs could be created in this way, predominantly in England.

The scheme will launch in September, with online applications for recommended energy efficiency measures, along with details of accredited local suppliers.

Once one of these suppliers has provided a quote and the work is approved, the voucher is issued.

The £3bn pot is in addition to Boris Johnson’s initial £5bn plan, unveiled last week.