Green Homes Grant opens for business today

0
102

Starting today, homeowners can sign up for savings on upgrades to their homes under the government’s £2 billion Green Homes Grant, with an additional £1 billion announced to improve the energy efficiency of publicly-owned buildings.

The Green Homes Grant scheme will see the government fund up to two-thirds of the cost of home improvements up to £5,000.

Those homeowners with low-incomes, including those on certain benefits, are eligible for a grant covering up to 100% of the cost of works up to £10,000.

The scheme seeks to improve the energy efficiency of over 600,000 homes.

Emma Pinchbeck, Chief Executive of Energy UK, commented on the announcement: “Building back better can begin at home. Improving the energy efficiency of our houses makes them healthier and more comfortable to live in and can cut hundreds of pounds a year off bills – all while reducing emissions and creating jobs.

“It shows how a green recovery focused on net zero can benefit the environment, the economy and customers.”

The launch of the Green Homes Grant forms part of a wider plan to upgrade the nation’s buildings expected to support an additional 120,000 jobs, which also includes:

  • £1 billion to boost the energy efficiency of public buildings, including schools and hospitals through a Public Sector Decarbonisation Fund
  • new measures to ensure nearly 3 million privately rented homes are upgraded to modern energy efficiency standards by 2028
  • £50 million to improve the energy efficiency of social housing

Chancellor Rishi Sunak commented: “We promised to support jobs and protect the environment – and the Green Homes Grant delivers on this.

“We’re giving homeowners, landlords and local authorities the funding they need to hire local tradespeople and make our homes more energy efficient.

“By supporting the green van men and women, we’ll save money, save jobs and save the planet.”

£500 million of the of the Green Homes Grant scheme has been assigned for local authorities to provide green home improvements for households with an income of under £30,000.

Plans to boost energy efficiency in the Private Rental Sector

Tenants will also benefit from the government’s plan to boost energy efficiency, as proposals for the private rental sector have been published today.

The improvements will be achieved by raising the energy performance standard of privately-rented properties, with landlords having to ensure homes meet Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Band C requirements.

To deliver this standard, government is proposing to raise the maximum spend landlords are required to invest to £10,000 (average per property spend around £5,000), and to introduce requirements for new tenancies from 1 April 2025 and all tenancies by 1 April 2028.

The consultation on improving the energy performance of privately rented homes is open until 30 December 2020.

The private rental sector measures are being phased in to limit the disruption to both landlords and tenants, with improvements having to be implemented for new tenancies from 1 April 2025 and for all tenancies by 1 April 2028.

Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund

In a further boost, the government is making £50 million available for social housing through a demonstrator project for the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF).

This UK-wide demonstrator scheme will see grants supplied to upgrade the energy efficiency of over 2000 of the worst-performing social homes.

It is estimated that those living in upgraded properties will save between £300 and £500 on their energy bills each year.

As well as helping meet the country’s net zero emissions target, the SHDF Demonstrator will support up to 3,200 jobs in the green energy sector.

Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme

The Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS) will help public sector organisations in England, including central government departments and their agencies, local authorities, schools and NHS Trusts, to install energy efficiency and low carbon heating measures, reducing energy bills and carbon emissions.

Installations under the PSDS are expected to support up to 30,000 low-carbon jobs.

More information about the Green Homes Grant and how to apply is available here