Important – this scheme is now closed
The Green Homes Grant scheme was announced by Government in July 2020 and was expected to commence at the end of September and to run until March 2021. In November it was extended to March 2022 but there was a later decision to end it in March 2021. There could be similar schemes in future so the information we originally published has been kept and moved here. There were problems with the scheme as described in this March 2021 article in The Observer.
Following the announcement in November of the Government’s Ten Point Plan for a green industrial revolution, the scheme has been extended by one year so will run until 31st March 2022. Vouchers must be redeemed and the work must be completed by that date.
In the first few weeks of the scheme some users had problems with finding local tradespeople to do the work, as reported for example in The Guardian. With the extension it is to be hoped that more businesses will decide it is worth being accredited.
The Government published details in August, giving information on how the available £2 billion will fund improvements to over 600,000 homes in England. The scheme will be open to homeowners and landlords. Although the scheme is not open to tenants they can use the information available to suggest possible home improvements to their landlords and ask if they would be willing to apply for funding.
Vouchers for eligible home improvements
Vouchers worth up to £5,000 will be available for homeowners to cover two thirds of the costs of the improvement measures. Households on low incomes receiving benefits (as defined here) can receive vouchers covering 100% of the cost of the improvements, up to a maximum of £10,000. The vouchers will be used to pay for work only from tradespeople approved under the Government’s TrustMark scheme. An exception is installers of heat pumps and solar thermal who need approval from the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) instead.
The eligible home improvements
The vouchers will support the installation of one or more of the following:-
- solid wall, under-floor, cavity wall or roof insulation
- air source or ground source heat pump (if loft and wall insulation present or are being installed)
- solar thermal (if loft and wall insulation present or are being installed)
- Biomass pellet boiler (if loft and wall insulation present or are being installed)
As well as installing one or more of the primary measures above householders can use their voucher for further energy saving measures. Support is available only up to the voucher value of the selected measure(s) in the list above and if still within the £5,000 or £10,000 allowable maximum. The options are one or more of the measures to improve energy efficiency from the list below:
- double or triple glazing/secondary glazing, when replacing single glazing
- secondaty glazing (in addition to single glazing)
- energy efficient replacement doors
- hot water tank thermostats and insulation
- heating controls
How will the vouchers be obtained?
From late September it will be possible to apply for a voucher for work that is appropriate for your home from the Simple Energy Advice website, a useful and comprehensive source of advice for home owners, tenants and landlords. A quote from an accredited supplier will be required and once the proposed work is approved the voucher will be issued.
Although vouchers are not yet available it is possible to find out now what is recommended for your home, how much it will cost, who could do the work and how much could be saved on energy bills. To do so go to the Simple Energy Advice Green Homes Grant web page that opened on 27th August, The page has links to information on all of the measures that can be included in the grant scheme
After your eligibility is checked (living in England and status as home owner) you can enter your postcode and select your address for personalised advice, as the first step in obtaining your voucher. If your home has an Energy Performance Certificate it will be used as the starting point to an easy process. If not you will need to answer questions about the age, construction and floor area of your home. All users will then need to answer questions about the number of occupants, their age groups, heating pattern and hot water use.
Once the Simple Energy Advice calculator has generated a list of personalised recommendations you can select from them to develop a plan. You will be able to start contacting tradespeople from the list of those operating in your area who provide the relevant services. You will then be ready to apply for your voucher when the system goes live in late September. That could be useful if there is a rush of applications.