Green Homes Grant Scheme
The New Green Homes Grant – all that you need to know
On Wednesday 8th July the Chancellor Rishi Sunak outlined plans that will see the Government put aside £2billion for green home upgrades as part of a £3bn investment in green technology to cut carbon emissions. They are hoping that the funding will make 650,000 homes more energy efficient and save the average household approximately £300 a year on bills.
The ‘Green Homes Grant’ scheme to be launched in September will see homeowners and landlords in England be issued with vouchers up to the value of £5,000 to be spent making their homes more energy efficient. Currently this scheme applies to England only, therefore will not cover homes in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. We look at the details of the scheme that are known to date, and what it could mean to you as a homeowner or landlord:
What is the aim of the Green Homes Grant?
The main aim of the Green Homes Grant scheme is to help homeowners and landlords promote energy efficiency within their properties. The government will give grants for energy-efficient home improvements which could include the installation of loft, floor and wall insulation, replacement of old boilers or double glazing.
The exact specification of what will be covered under this scheme is yet to be announced by the Government, and we will update you as soon as we know more.
In addition, it is hoped that this scheme will help to provide a boost to the economy following the coronavirus pandemic by creating jobs and extra work for tradesmen such as plumbers, builders, widow fitters etc. in a bid to boost the economy and aid recovery.
How will the Green Homes Grant work and will I be eligible?
The Green Homes Grant will be launched in September 2020 and will last for one year. It will work by providing eligible homeowners and landlords with a voucher of up to £5000 to be put towards the cost of paying for environmentally friendly improvements (as listed above). The Government will pay at least two thirds of the total cost of energy-saving private home improvements under the Green Homes Grant.
In the case of low income households the Green Homes Grant scheme will cover the full cost of these energy efficiency improvements as the Government will be awarding these households with vouchers worth up to £10,000 per household so that they will not have to contribute anything. To these improvement works.
The Treasury has said it hopes the Green Homes Grant scheme will help pay for improvements in over 650,000 homes across England, so it would be hoped that vouchers will be fairly widely available and many homeowners eligible to benefit from this scheme. However, the Government are yet to issue any guidelines on whether every home will qualify or, as with the Green Deal (a similar type of scheme a few years ago from the Coalition Government) you have to have a pre-qualifying inspection which decides if your home is suitable.
Approximately how much of any energy efficiency improvement work will these vouchers cover?
For many households this £5000 voucher should cover much, and in some cases all, of the cost of the improvements. In fact the Treasury has estimated that the vouchers will cover at least two thirds of the cost of the energy efficient improvements.
As an example, if a homeowner installs cavity wall and floor insulation costing £4,000 they will pay only about £1,320, with the Government contributing the remaining £2,680 through the voucher scheme up to the given value.
How can I apply for a Green Homes Grant scheme voucher?
The Green Homes Grant scheme is set to be launched during September, and homeowners and landlords will be able to apply online at this point. It is expected that they will be shown energy efficiency measures which the vouchers can be used for and recommended accredited suppliers, although this is yet to be confirmed.
Once an accredited supplier has provided a quotation and the work has been approved, a voucher for the Government’s share of the cost will be issued. As yet, the Government hasn't said how long it could take for an application to be approved and a voucher issued. We will details of the application process once they're available.
Will I be able to use any firm to undertake these improvements or is it just specific accredited installers?
To date, the Government has said that households will be able to spend the vouchers with ‘accredited suppliers’, but as yet there have been no details given as to which firms could be part of the scheme or what the criteria would be.
Is making my home energy efficient worthwhile?
Everyone wants to save as much of their hard earned cash as they can particularly when paying bills. So a good starting point is to make your home more energy efficient, plus you will also be doing your bit for the environment by reducing your carbon emissions.
In addition, some energy efficiency measures such as installing double glazing can not only help you to save on fuel bills, but can improve your living environment by making your home warmer and reducing outside noise levels. But as many of you may be aware, these type of improvements don’t come cheap, so the government’s proposed grant could be welcome news if you’ve have been putting off these changes.
Updated. What will the vouchers cover?
The available measures are split into “primary” and “secondary” categories. Households will need to install at least one of the primary measures below to qualify for funding.
The available measures are split into “primary” and “secondary” categories.
Households will need to install at least one of the primary measures below to qualify for funding.
Insulation: Solid wall, cavity wall, under-floor, loft, flat roof, room in roof, park home.
Low carbon heat: Air source heat pump, ground source heat pump, solar thermal
“Top ups” are allowed (e.g. additional loft insulation up to the recommended level, solid wall insulation for other walls where a wall has been previously insulated), but replacements are not included.
So long as there is at least one primary measure in the package of works, households will also be able to install secondary measures. Secondary measures can only be subsidised up to the amount of subsidy provided for primary measures. (e.g. if a household receives £1,000 for primary measures, they can only receive a maximum of £1,000 towards secondary measures).
The secondary measures are:
• Draught proofing
• Windows and doors: Double/triple glazing (where replacing single glazing), secondary glazing (in addition to single glazing), upgrading to energy efficient doors (where replacing doors installed prior to 2002).
• Heating controls and insulation: appliance thermostats, hot water tank thermostats, hot water tank insulation, smart heating controls, zone controls, delayed start thermostat, thermostatic radiator valves
For low-carbon heating to be installed, households will need to have adequate insulation (e.g. wall and loft, where applicable). These can be installed as part of a package – they do not have to already be in situ.
For the general scheme, the following properties are eligible:
All owner-occupied homes (including long-leaseholders, shared ownership)
• Landlords of private rented sector domestic properties
• Landlords of social sector domestic properties (including LA owned homes)
• Park home owners (for residential sites including Gypsy and Traveller sites)
New-build domestic properties and non-domestic properties are not eligible. For the low-income scheme, only owner-occupied properties and park homes are eligible. Households receiving income-based or disability benefits would be eligible for a fully funded package of measures.
Eligibility for low-income scheme
You qualify for the Green Home Grants low-income scheme if you receive at least one of the following benefits:
• Income based Jobseekers allowance (JSA)
• Income based Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)
• Income Support (IS)
• Pension Guarantee Credit
• Working Tax Credit (WTC)
• Child Tax Credits (CTC)
• Universal Credit (UC)
• Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
• Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
• Attendance Allowance
• Carer’s Allowance
• Severe Disablement Allowance
• Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
• Contribution based Jobseekers allowance (JSA)
• Contribution based Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)
• Housing benefit