It is evident that the Chancellor Rishi Sunak is taking the Prime Minister’s promise to Build Back Better seriously, by announcing a pledge to make homes greener as part of a £3 billion investment in green technology to cut carbon emissions. This will only apply to England, there are alternate schemes for Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
What is it?
The new Green Homes Grant will give over 600,000 homeowners in England vouchers that will pay for at least two thirds of eligible measures, up to the value of £5,000, or £10,000 for low income households. This could save households up to £600 a year on gas and electricity. This will be delivered alongside an additional £1bn programme to make public buildings in the UK more energy efficient and a £50m scheme to pilot innovative approaches to retrofitting social housing.
Three different grants will become available. You must install one energy-efficient improvement from the list to qualify for vouchers:
- Solid wall, under-floor, cavity wall or roof insulation
- Air source or ground source heat pump
- Solar thermal
While the vouchers are not valid for replacing existing insulation or low-carbon heating, if you install one of the qualifying improvements, you can then get vouchers for a secondary energy-saving measure which includes:
- Double or triple glazing/secondary glazing, when replacing single glazing
- Upgrading to energy-efficient doors
- Hot water tank/appliance tank thermostats/heating controls
TrustMark and Microgeneration Certification Scheme Accreditation
The department of Business, Enterprise and Industrial Strategy have confirmed tradespeople must register for TrustMark or MCS accreditation to take part in the scheme and once the work is agreed, vouchers will be issued from the end of September so work can commence. Homeowners across England will also be able to access advice and support on how to improve the energy efficiency of their homes from the Simple Energy Advice (SEA).
Local Authority Delivery Scheme
The Local Authority Delivery (LAD) scheme aims to raise the energy efficiency of low energy performance homes (those rated at EPC Band E, F or G), including off-gas grid homes. £500 million of the funding will be delivered through local authorities, to improve the energy efficiency of low-income households. This will help reduce fuel poverty and support the installation of low carbon heating. The initial phase of the scheme provides £200 million funding for local authorities to upscale existing energy efficiency improvement projects.
A further £300 million will be available in the second phase of the scheme later in 2020 for Local Energy Hubs in England to procure services that support upgrading eligible homes. The government will provide more guidance on phase 2 ahead of its launch.
All local authorities in England are eligible to submit the application by 1st September 2020, by noon.
You can apply for the Green Homes Grant vouchers if you are a homeowner, owner-occupier, or a social and private landlord. Those on the lowest incomes will not have to pay anything, to qualify, you’ll need to be in receipt of certain means tested benefits and have a combined income of no more than £30,000. The grants will also be targeted at the least energy efficient housing, which would be those with an energy performance certificate rating of Band E, F or G.
This scheme is only open to Local Authorities in England. If you are a homeowner and/or a landlord, you may be able to get up to £10,000 to improve the energy efficiency of your property. Read more about the Green Homes Grant Voucher Scheme
How do you apply?
The Government says that homeowners will be able to access advice and support from the SEA about making their homes more energy efficient from the end of August.
The SEA service will then suggest home improvements for which homeowners can apply for funding, and homeowners will be offered a list of approved registered tradespeople in their area to carry out the work. Once the work is agreed, vouchers will start to be issued from the end of September.
You can find the guidance and application form for the scheme here
If you have questions about the process, application form or guidance, please contact [email protected]