In July 2020, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced plans to make England’s homes greener with the Green Homes Grant scheme. Here, Nick Marshall, director at Beatons Group, examines how the initiative will work.
Business and energy secretary for the UK, Alok Sharma, said that the scheme will lead to ‘hundreds of pounds off energy bills every year.’ It is designed to help those struggling to pay their gas and electricity bills and is expected to benefit around 600,000 people.
The scheme will see the government provide funding towards the cost of energy-efficient improvements to homes in England and will be open for applications at the end of September.
The home improvement criteria covers work that reduces energy waste or lowers carbon emissions. The voucher must be redeemed, and improvements must be completed, by March 2021.
How much funding can I receive?
Individuals can apply for a voucher that covers two-thirds of the cost of qualifying home improvements up to the value of £5,000.
Those on low incomes or who receive certain benefits can receive a voucher funding the full cost of improvements up to the value of £10,000. These vouchers are likely to result in the greatest social benefits, as those on low incomes generally struggle to pay energy bills.
The installer completing the work requests and later receives the voucher payment from the government.
Am I eligible for funding?
There are a few eligibility restrictions to the scheme. You must either:
- Own your home
- Be a private or social landlord
Landlords cannot apply for the low-income voucher. New-build homes that have not previously been occupied are not eligible for the scheme. Those who have already received a Green Home Grant voucher from their local authority are also ineligible.
What sort of improvements can I have funded by the scheme?
The scheme is designed to improve the energy efficiency of England’s homes while reducing the country’s carbon emissions. Sustainable energy resources such as solar panels cannot be funded by the scheme, but the following can:
- Various wall, loft, floor and roof insulations
- Air or ground source heat pumps
The measures above are categorised as ‘primary measures’ by the scheme. Your voucher must cover the cost of at least one primary measure to be approved.
Your voucher can also cover the cost of certain ‘secondary measures’ up to the value of the funding provided for primary measures. For instance, if an applicant received £1,000 worth of funding towards loft insulation, they would be able to receive up to £1,000 worth of funding towards secondary measures. Secondary measures include:
- Energy-efficient doors
- Hot water tank thermostats and insulation
- Heating controls
The following cannot be funded by vouchers:
- Extensions and conversions
- Insulating an unheated conservatory
- Installing new fossil fuel boilers
How can I apply for funding?
Check the Simple Energy Advice (SEA) website to view the improvements that can be made to your home. Use the site to find an accredited tradesperson in the area that you can obtain quotes from.
Individuals can apply for the funding from the end of September. You should only enter a commitment to carry out the work once the voucher is confirmed.
Visit www.simplenergyadvice.org.uk for further information about the scheme.
If you need support or advice with regards to the Green Homes Grant scheme and how it can be used to improve the energy efficiency of your home, get in touch by calling 01473 659777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to see how we can help.