Homeowners and landlords can now benefit from the new Green Homes Grant and start to make savings on their energy bills - and now there's longer to do it with an extension to the deadline from March 2021 to March 2022 recently announced. For those who are unaware of the Grant, or who may want to find out more about it, here’s some information that might help.
Who will benefit from the Green Homes Grant?
From September 2020, homeowners and landlords in England have been able to start applying for vouchers up to the value of £5,000 from the £2bn Green Homes Grant – details of which were announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak. The vouchers can then be used to pay towards energy saving home improvements such as wall or loft insulation or for the installation of double glazing to replace single glazing. The good news too is that those in low income households can apply for vouchers of a much greater value - up to £10,000.
What if the home improvement costs more than the vouchers provided?
Only those in low income households are likely to gain vouchers that will cover the total cost of the home improvement (up to the value of £10,000). For other households, and for landlords, the vouchers will cover up to two thirds of the cost so they should be prepared to make some contribution to it.
Who will complete the home improvements?
The government originally stressed that an accredited tradesperson i.e. those who are registered with TrustMark, or who are already certified under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme, have to complete the home improvements. 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 are the home improvements covered under the Grant?
The home improvements are split into two categories, primary and secondary.
To gain support from the Grant you’ll have to install at least one of the following primary improvements. These have to be new installations rather than replacements - although some existing insulations or low carbon heating could qualify for the financial support:
- Insulation such as cavity wall, solid wall, underfloor, loft or roof insulation
- Low carbon heating such as solar thermal systems or air-source or ground-source heat pumps
Once support has been given to complete one of the measures from the primary category, a grant for secondary improvements can be considered. These include:
- Heating controls and insulation, such as thermostats and smart heating controls.
- Replacement of single glazing with double/triple glazing
- Replacement of doors that were installed before 2002 with energy efficient doors
- Draught proofing
It’s worth noting that there are limits to the amount of financial support offered with the value of vouchers for secondary measures limited to the same amount that was provided for the primary measures.
I’m a landlord, should I apply for financial support through this Grant?
Yes, it could be worth it. At the moment if you are renting a property in the private rented sector, you are required to have a minimum energy performance rating of ‘E’, or above, on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). It’s possible, however, that this minimum rating may rise within the next few years and, if so, you may be required to make some home improvements to comply. By acting now you’ll not only be prepared for any regulatory changes but you’ll also be benefiting from the financial support on offer. It also means that your tenants could benefit from the home improvements sooner rather than later.
Want more information about the Grant and how to apply for the vouchers?
The Simple Energy Advice service (SEA) provide advice and support about the Grant, if you are eligible for the vouchers and how to apply for them. They also have a list of the approved tradespeople that can be used as well as an Energy Efficiency Calculator to help in understanding what energy-saving improvements could be made to your property.
For further information, also check out the government website
PLEASE NOTE - Applications to the Green Homes Grant scheme closed on 31 March 2021. See government website here
Blog Updated on 20/11/2020, 06/01/2021 and 01/04/2021