The Green Homes Grant and how it might cut your energy costs if you are a homeowner or landlord
The details of the government’s new Green Homes Grant have been announced – as well as news of the extension to its deadline from March 2021 to March 2022. Here we answer a few questions you may have about it.
What is the Green Homes Grant?
It was announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak that a £2billion Green Homes Grant was to be made available in England from September 2020. It means that homeowners and landlords are now able to apply for vouchers, up to the value of £5,000 (or up to £10,000 for low income households) to pay towards energy saving home improvements such as loft and wall insulation or for the installation of double glazing to replace single glazing.
Do I have to pay anything towards the home improvement?
Yes. The government scheme funds up to two thirds of the cost but there will be an expectation that the homeowner or landlord will pay the balance. Only low income households will be eligible for a 100% grant to pay for the improvements, up to the value of £10,000.
Can I get the voucher and do the home improvement myself?
No. You originally had to hire an accredited tradesperson; those who are registered with TrustMark, or who are already certified under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme. Changes have been introduced, however, since the scheme was launched, that state that sub- contractors are no longer required to be registered with Trustmark although certification is still required.
What kind of home improvements could I get some funding for?
The home improvements are split into two categories, primary and secondary.
To gain financial support you’ll have to install at least one of the following primary improvements (*):
- Insulation such as solid wall, cavity wall, underfloor, loft or roof insulation
- Low carbon heating such as air-source or ground-source heat pumps or solar thermal systems
(*) This has to be a new installation, not a replacement, although some existing insulations or low carbon heating could qualify for a grant to improve them.
Once you’ve been granted one of the measures from the primary category, you’ll be able to claim for a grant for secondary improvements. These include:
- Replacement of single glazing with double/triple glazing
- Replacement of doors that were installed before 2002 with energy efficient doors
- Draught proofing
- Heating controls and insulation, such as thermostats and smart heating controls.
Grants for the secondary measures will be capped, however, at the same amount that was provided for the primary measures - so there are some limits to consider.
Why is it so important for landlords?
Remember that, at the moment, there is a requirement for any property rented out in the private rented sector to have a minimum energy performance rating of ‘E’, or above, on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). In the future, however, it’s possible that that minimum standards may rise to a rating of D, or even C, so home improvements now, with the help of government funding, could help.
How can I get more information about the Grant and the vouchers?
Advice and support is available from the Simple Energy Advice service (SEA) who will also be able to provide a list of the approved tradespeople that can complete the work home improvements for you.
The service also provides a handy Energy Efficiency Calculator which could help you to find out if your property could benefit from energy-saving improvements.
For further information, also check out the government website.
Blog Updates 20/11/2020 and 06/01/2021