The Green Homes Grant and How It Can Save On Energy Costs For Both Homeowners And Landlords

The government has this week announced details of a new Green Homes Grant along with news of the extension to its deadline from March 2021 to March 2022. Here are a few of the key points we think you should know.

What Is The Green Homes Grant?

The government has announced that from Sept 2020 they will provide vouchers of up to £5,000 to homeowners and landlords to cover up to two-thirds of the cost of energy efficiency and low carbon heat improvements. You might be entitled to an even bigger grant if you or a member of your household receives one of the qualifying benefits. The government will cover 100% of the cost of the improvements up to £10,000.

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 the installation of double glazing.

What Do I Have To Pay Towards The Home Improvements? 

The government scheme funds up to two thirds of the cost but the homeowner or landlord must 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 Improvements Myself? 

No. You must hire an accredited tradesperson who is registered with TrustMark, or who are already certified under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme.

What Kind Of Home Improvements Are Funded?

Home improvements are split into two categories, primary and secondary.

Vouchers must be used to install at least one primary home insulation or low carbon heating measure. If you choose to install at least one primary measure, you can use the voucher to help cover the cost of secondary measures.

Primary measures:

  • Insulation
  • Low carbon heating

Insulation measures might be:

  • Solid walls
  • Under floor
  • Cavity wall
  • Loft
  • Flat or pitched roof
  • Room in roof
  • Insulating a park home
  • Low carbon heat measures:
  • Air source, ground source or hybrid heat pump
  • Solar thermal
  • Biomass boilers

The grant for the secondary measure is capped at the value of the grant provided for the primary measures. For example, if you receive a £400 voucher for a primary measure such as a cavity wall insulation, you will be able to receive a maximum of £400 for a secondary measure such as an energy efficient replacement door.

Secondary measures:

If you install at least 1 primary measure, your voucher can be used to help cover the cost of any of the following secondary measures:

  • Draught proofing
  • Double/triple glazing (where replacing single glazed windows)
  • Secondary glazing (in addition to single glazing)
  • External energy efficient doors (replacing single glazed or solid doors installed before 2002)
  • Heating controls
  • Hot water tank thermostats and insulation

Who Can Carry Out The Work?

Tradespeople and businesses that are certified to install energy efficiency and/or low carbon heating improvements in homes must register with TrustMark in order carry out work under the scheme. This confirms that you will install measures to high standards. Tradespeople and businesses that install low carbon heating improvements in homes must be MCS certified.

After registering, you will be added to a directory of TrustMark registered installers and homeowners can contact you directly for a quote.

Once you are registered with TrustMark you will also have to apply to become a Green Homes Grant installer.

Getting Work Done during National Restrictions.

Tradespeople, including Green Homes Grant installers, can continue working in people’s homes under the national restrictions. COVID-19 Secure guidelines must be followed.

Installers however, do not always need to physically attend a person’s home to provide a quote. This might be done remotely using a video call or detailed photos.

Is This Important For Landlords? 

At the moment there is a requirement for any rented out property in the private rental sector to have a minimum energy performance rating of ‘E’, or above, on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). In the future though, it’s possible that that minimum standards may rise to a rating of D, or even C, so making those home improvements now, with the help of government funding, could be a great help.

Where Can I Get More Information On The Grant?

Advice and support is available from the Simple Energy Advice service (SEA) who can provide a list of the approved tradespeople that you can employ to complete the home improvements for you.  For further information, also take a look at the government website.

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