Offering homeowners grants of up to £10,000 for energy-saving home improvements, Jack Wooler explores the Government’s Green Homes Grant, explaining what it is, what it can do for you, and how to apply.
Able to fund up to two-thirds of the cost of energy saving improvements for homeowners, the new £2bn Green Homes Grant scheme could be the extra push you need to go green, or financially support your ongoing project to do so.
Announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in July, the financial support will come in the form of ‘vouchers’ covering the larger portion of green upgrades such as insulation or heat pumps, with the maximum contribution for most being £5,000 – though households on ‘low’ incomes will be eligible for up to 100 per cent funding at a maximum of £10,000 – all as part of a wider £3bn government plan to cut carbon emissions.
The appeal of this scheme is clear. Regardless of the ecological benefits and cheap improvements you could bring to your home, the treasury has claimed that by using these vouchers families could save an average of £200 on their energy costs each year.
What improvements should I make?
To be awarded the vouchers, you must get one of what the Government has termed ‘primary measures’ installed. Once one or more of these are installed, the voucher can then also be used to help cover the cost of further ‘secondary measures.’
The Government has noted that the amount you get towards the cost of the secondary cannot exceed the amount you get for the primary.
Below is a list of some of the home improvements eligible under the scheme:
- Solid wall insulation (internal or external)
- Cavity wall insulation
- Under-floor insulation (solid floor, suspended floor)
- Loft insulation
- Flat roof insulation
- Pitched roof insulation
- Room in roof insulation
- Insulating a park home
Low carbon heat improvements:
- Air source heat pump
- Ground source heat pump
- Solar thermal (liquid filled flat plate or evacuated tube collector)
- Biomass boiler
- Hybrid heat pump
Windows and doors:
- Draught proofing
- Double or triple glazing (where replacing single glazing)
- Secondary glazing (in addition to single glazing)
- Energy efficient replacement doors (replacing single glazed or solid doors installed before 2002)
- Hot water tank thermostat
- Hot water tank insulation
- Heating controls (such as, appliance thermostats, smart heating controls, zone controls, intelligent delayed start thermostat, thermostatic radiator valves)
Other grants or funding
The Government has stated that you cannot claim a Green Homes Grant voucher towards the cost of a measure which has also had funding under the Energy Company Obligation (ECO).
It has also made it clear that you cannot apply for the scheme if you have already received a grant from your local authority as part of the Local Authority Deliver Scheme.
You can however claim both the ECO and Green Homes funds – as long as they are each for different measures – and you can claim the Green Homes Grant and use it to apply for accreditation to the Domestic RHI.
How do I apply?
First you must check to see if you are eligible, which can be done on the Simple Energy Advice website by completing a quick survey, and then you can decide on the improvements you plan to have installed.
You must receive at least one quote from a Green Homes Grant, TrustMark-registered installer in order to apply – work cannot be completed by yourself, a member of your household or your immediate family.
If all is well, you can then make an online application on the Gov UK website, and if successful you’ll then be provided with the voucher to give to your chosen TrustMark-registered tradesperson.
Now’s the time
While there has been some unofficial talk of the scheme being extended in some capacity, there is at present a cut-off point.
You must make sure that all scheduled work is completed, and the voucher redeemed subject to its terms and condition by 31 March 2021.
While this may initially seem like a while away to some, tradespeople across the sector are expecting a rise in such projects between now and then, so it’s advised to put things in motion as soon as possible.
If there was ever a good time to make those much-needed green improvements to your home, it’s now.