Last updated: 19th November 2020
The Green Homes Grant scheme is a new voucher scheme, helping over 600,000 homes in England become more energy-efficient. This investment will cut energy bills for homeowners and provide local jobs for tradespeople, as well as make progress on the UK’s net zero carbon emissions by 2050 target.
As of 30th September, the government Green Homes Grant scheme 2020 is now open for applications.
What is the Green Homes Grant scheme?
The grant provides homeowners and landlords in England with a voucher worth up to £5,000, or £10,000 for low income households, to pay for the cost of installing energy-saving home improvements. The voucher will cover at least two thirds of the cost of labour, materials and VAT for the work (100% of the cost is covered for low income households).
What can I get done in my home using the Green Homes Grant?
To be eligible for funding, you will need to install at least one of the two following primary measures using the grant:
1. Insulation, for:
- Solid walls (internal or external).
- Cavity walls.
- Under floor (solid floor or suspended floor).
- Flat roof.
- Pitched roof.
- Room in roof.
- Park home.
If you choose to install external solid wall insulation, then you must have all suitable space on the wall insulated. Similarly, if you choose to have internal solid wall insulation installed, you must insulate all external-facing space in the room.
If your home’s already partially insulated, then you can use the government green grant to insulate the rest. However, you can’t use the grant to remove or replace existing insulation.
2. Low carbon heat
- Air source heat pumps.
- Ground source heat pumps.
- Hybrid heat pumps.
- Solar thermal (liquid filled flat plates or evacuated tube collectors).
- Biomass boilers.
If you opt for a low carbon heat measure, then it must be used for space heating and/or domestic hot water heating purposes. It can’t be used for process heating, outdoor heating or heating swimming pools, for example.
Any heat pump installed in your home must have a minimum Seasonal Performance Factor (SPF) of 2.5. In addition, the heat pump element of any hybrid heat pump system must be able to provide the majority of the space heating demand for your home.
The government has stated that biomass boiler installations must:
- Have a valid emissions certificate for the make and model.
- Only use fuel that is authorised on the Biomass Suppliers List (BSL) and that has been tested for on the specific biomass boiler’s emissions certificate, for the lifetime of the installation.
- Have a valid BSL fuel number for the intended fuel (which you’ll need to submit).
- Only be installed in rural areas.
To have a low carbon heat measure installed, you must:
- Declare that you have planning permission, or that it isn’t required. Visit the Planning Portal website to find out how to get planning permission.
- Service any low carbon energy measures installed in your home in line with the manufacturer’s instructions, for the lifetime of the installation.
There’s a minimum level of insulation recommended to have the low carbon heat measures installed. This is to ensure the proper design and operation of the relevant technology in line with specific standards. So, you may need to have some insulation installed in your home.
If you have a low carbon heat measure installed in your home through the Green Homes Grant scheme, then the grant will also cover the costs of:
- Pipework, pumps and valves, and fitting.
- Buffer tank and domestic hot water cylinders.
- Heating system controls.
- New underfloor heating.
- New high capacity radiators.
If you already have one, or both, of the primary measures already installed in your home, then you can’t replace it using the Green Homes Grant. However, top ups are allowed, for example installing additional loft insulation up to the recommended level.
As long as you have one of the primary measures included in your Green Homes Grant package, then the government will give you the same amount towards the cost of one or more of the following secondary measures:
3. Windows and doors
- Draught proofing.
- Double/triple glazing, where replacing single glazing.
- Secondary glazing, in addition to single glazing.
- Upgrading to energy efficient doors, where replacing single glazed or solid doors installed before 2002.
4. Heating controls and insulation
- Hot water tank thermostats.
- Hot water tank insulation.
- Heating controls such as appliance thermostats, smart heating controls, zone controls, intelligent delayed start thermostats or thermostatic radiator valves.
The grant also covers the following common items, when related to one or more of the primary or secondary measures:
- Professional services to ensure compliance with building standards, such as:
- Detailed design drawings and calculations.
- Damp specialist and structural engineer costs.
- Modelling to evaluate moisture risk or to estimate payback.
- Air tightness tests to check for excessive infiltration and ensure adequate controlled ventilation.
- Contractor costs, including labour, materials, scaffolding, waste removal and VAT costs.
- Reasonable work to support the retrofit:
- Necessary structural improvements such as repairs to brickwork or floor joists.
- Repairing and treating damp.
- Resolving and eliminating excessive infiltration.
- Repairing and improving controlled ventilation.
Secondary measures can only be subsidised up to the amount of subsidy provided for primary measures. So for example, if you receive a £1,000 voucher for primary measures, then you can only receive a maximum of £1,000 for your secondary measures. You’ll need to redeem your voucher for the primary measure(s) that you have installed before being able to redeem your voucher for your secondary measure(s).
Which home improvements and services aren’t covered by the government green grant?
The following green home improvements are some examples of what’s not covered by the grant:
- Building a new extension or conversion.
- Installing a new fossil fuel boiler (e.g. gas or oil boilers).
- Insulation to outbuildings, conservatories without fixed heating, new extensions built to current building permissions or extensions without building permission, planning permission or fixed heating.
- New windows (unless it’s double or triple glazing to replace single glazing).
Also, the Green Homes Grant scheme can’t be used to replace an existing low carbon heating system in your home. Excluding solar thermal, any low carbon heat measure that you have installed must completely replace your current fossil fuel heating system. For the hybrid heat pump measure, this means that you’ll need to get a new fossil fuel element for your heating system – this won’t be covered by the grant.
You can’t use the grant for the following related services:
- Contractor costs for things such as training, asbestos removal and additional building insurance premiums or certification fees.
- Professional services that aren’t linked to a retrofit, such as buying an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), building surveys and building design, modelling and calculations.
- Householder costs for furniture storage or removal or alternative accommodation costs during any disruption.
- Building work for:
- Retrofit measures that aren’t identified in the list of eligible home improvements.
- Changes to your home that aren’t linked to energy efficiency improvements, such as general repairs, underpinning, changing a window design or area, re-roofing, electricity or gas safety work and damp proofing.
- Boiler replacements or repairs.
- Decorations that aren’t linked to a retrofit.
- The cost of any advice that you get on the improvements which are best for your home.
Can a tradesperson enter my home to install Green Homes Grant measures whilst the National Restrictions for coronavirus are in place?
Yes. The government has confirmed that Green Homes Grant installers can continue to work inside homes whilst the national lockdown is in place from 5th November to 2nd December 2020. They must follow the COVID-19 Secure guidelines.
Green Homes Grant application form – How do I apply for the new government Green Homes Grant?
The scheme is now open and all work must be completed by 31st March 2022. To apply, you’ll need to:
1. Check your eligibility
Answer some questions about your home on the Simple Energy Advice (SEA) website.
2. Find out which energy efficient upgrades may be suitable for your home
Use the Simple Energy advice tool, which uses your postcode to provide personalised advice by looking at previous surveys of your home.
To get an expert’s advice on which eco-friendly measures are best for your home and how much the work will cost, Rated People can connect you with vetted local trades businesses. By posting your job on Rated People, you can get detailed advice and information – and ultimately find a trusted trades business to do the work.
For more inspiration, we’ve also put together 8 ideas to improve your home using the Green Homes Grant.
You should also look at your property’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to see which areas of your home could be improved. Or, speak to a retrofit assessor.
3. Get quotes from tradespeople
When you’re applying for your voucher, you’ll need to provide a written quote for the work from at least one tradesperson. However, the government recommends that you provide three quotes, to make sure you’re getting the best value for money. The tradesperson must be registered with both the grant scheme and TrustMark, and with MCS if you’re having low carbon heat measures installed. Find out more about TrustMark and MCS here – How can I make sure that the work done in my home will be completed to a high standard?
The scheme administrator may request that you provide another quote, if the ones you provide seem unreasonably high.
You can post your Green Homes Grant job on Rated People, and up to three tradespeople will get in touch with you to quote. We recommend mentioning that you’d like to use the Green Homes Grant and ‘TrustMark membership required’ in your job description. You can check if a tradesperson is TrustMark registered by looking at the ‘Trade Certifications’ section of their Rated People profile.
Get quotes for home improvements covered by the Green Homes Grant
4. Apply for your voucher
To apply, you’ll need to provide:
- The name and date of birth of the property owner or owners.
- The name and date of birth of anyone living in the property who is receiving benefits.
- A quote for the work from a TrustMark-registered tradesperson.
- The TrustMark licence number of your chosen tradesperson.
If you want to make more than one green home improvement using the grant, you’ll need to make separate applications for each one. You’ll get an individual voucher for each improvement.
Your voucher(s) will be valid for 3 months from the date they’re issued, or until 31st March 2022 (whichever date is earlier). You can request a voucher extension any time before your voucher expires, unless the scheme is closed.
Apply on gov.uk.
Who’s eligible for the Green Homes Grant 2020?
- Homeowners in England with an owner-occupied home, including long-leaseholders and shared ownership homeowners.
- Landlords of private rented sector domestic properties in England.
- Landlords of social sector domestic properties (including LA owned homes) in England.
- Park home owners in England, for residential sites including Gypsy and Traveller sites.
If you own a new build property that hasn’t been previously occupied, then you aren’t eligible for upgrades through the government green grant.
Low income households are those receiving at least one of the following benefits:
- Jobseekers allowance (JSA) that’s income based.
- Income based Employment & Support Allowance (ESA).
- Income Support (IS).
- Pension Guarantee Credit.
- Working Tax Credit (WTC).
- Child Tax Credits (CTC).
- Universal Credit (UC).
- Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
- Attendance Allowance.
- Carer’s Allowance.
- Severe Disablement Allowance.
- Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit.
- Contribution based Jobseekers allowance (JSA).
- Contribution based Employment & Support Allowance (ESA).
- Housing benefit.
Landlords aren’t counted as low income under the Green Homes Grant, so they can only receive a maximum of £5,000 for their green home improvements.
The government expects that the scheme will benefit over 600,000 houses.
Are there extra Green Homes Grant requirements for landlords?
Yes. The Green Homes Grant counts towards the total de minimus state aid that you’re allowed to get over a three-year period. So, you need to check that you won’t exceed the €200,000 threshold if you claim the government green grant.
Following the minimum energy efficiency standards, most private rented properties must have a minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E. If you’re applying for a Green Homes Grant voucher, then you’ll need to provide proof that you’ve met this standard, or proof of your exemption.
Is there any support available for households in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland?
The Green Homes Grant is only available in England, however there are other initiatives available for other areas in the UK:
What are the benefits of the UK Green Homes Grant scheme 2020?
- Save money on your energy bills: The government estimates that the scheme will save homeowners up to £300 a year on their energy bills. For example, solid wall insulation can take around £225 off the average heating bill, whilst double glazing can cut them down by around £105 yearly, according to the Energy Saving Trust.
- Complete the jobs that you’ve been wanting done: When we spoke to homeowners earlier this year, we found that 1 in 3 want to make energy-efficient home improvements in 2020, but 61% were put off by the cost. The Green Homes Grant will cut the cost of these upgrades by around two thirds!
- Support local businesses: Tradespeople can help you get energy-efficient jobs done and the demand for green work will create more work for them and help get our economy back on its feet. The Rated People Home Improvement Trends Report: 2020 found that almost half of UK tradespeople made changes to become eco-friendlier in 2019, with even more planning to do so this year.
Can I complete Green Homes Grant work myself?
No. The government has stated that the work can’t be completed by yourself, a member of your household or your immediate family.
How can I make sure that the work done in my home will be completed to a high standard?
All work that’s done using the Green Homes Grant must be completed by an tradesperson that’s:
- Registered with the Green Homes Grant scheme.
- A TrustMark registered business.
- Accredited by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) if they’re installing low carbon heat measures.
- Able to meet the government’s PAS standards, which are:
- Minimum PAS2030 for all green improvements.
- PAS2035 for park homes, high rise buildings and buildings that are traditionally constructed and protected.
TrustMark is a government-endorsed quality scheme, which requires all registered tradespeople to meet high levels of technical competence, have their work regularly inspected and show a commitment to good customer care. Plus, they have to provide a minimum two-year guarantee for work carried out in homes.
MCS is an industry-led quality assurance scheme. All certified tradespeople have to show adherence to recognised industry standards of quality, competency and compliance.
How does the tradesperson get paid?
Once you’ve been issued with a Green Homes Grant voucher, the work can begin! When it’s done, you’ll need to pay your share of the cost to the installer (if applicable). Then, you can redeem your voucher by providing:
- Your reference number (which you got when you first applied for the grant).
- The postcode of the property where the measure has been installed.
- The email address that you used to apply for the grant.
- Your voucher number.
- The final cost of the measure (including VAT as applicable).
- A digital copy of your dated invoice (1 invoice for each measure that you get installed).
You’ll also need to confirm that:
- The installation was completed satisfactorily.
- The installer has given you the necessary certification documents.
- You’ve paid your share of the costs to the installer (if applicable).
Once you’ve redeemed your voucher, the government’s share will be paid directly to the installer on your behalf. You can redeem your voucher on gov.uk.
Can I use the government grant to claim money back for green upgrades have been completed in my home before the grant came into place?
No – the government recently confirmed that the Green Homes Grant can’t be used to pay for works carried out before the voucher is issued.
When can the Green Homes Grant work start?
As soon as your Green Homes Grant application has been approved. You shouldn’t commit to starting any work until you have been successfully issued with a voucher.
Do I have to pay a deposit?
The installer may ask you for a deposit. It can’t be larger than the amount they’d normally charge, or larger than your expected contribution to the cost of the work under the quote they’ve given you. If you’re applying as a low income household, then the installer can’t ask you for a deposit unless the cost of the work is over £10,000 (the government limit).
What documents does the tradesperson need to give me once the work’s complete?
After the work’s done, your installer needs to give you:
- A dated copy of an invoice, which shows the supply and installation cost of your chosen measures. You need 1 invoice for each measure that’s installed in your home.
- Any relevant certification for energy efficiency improvement measures.
- A guarantee document from the tradesperson.
- An MCS certificate and the relevant manufacturer instructions, if you install a low carbon heating measure.
- A Biomass Suppliers List, if you install a biomass fuelled low carbon heating system.
What if I’m already claiming other government grants or other funding?
Energy Company Obligation (ECO) funding
You can’t claim a Green Homes Grant voucher for an improvement that also has had funding under the ECO scheme. However, you can claim both ECO and a Green Homes Grant voucher as long as they’re for different and separate measures – for example, loft insulation and cavity wall insulation.
Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)
You can claim both the Domestic RHI and the government green grant for a low carbon heat measure. Claim your Green Homes Grant voucher first. Then, tell Ofgem that you’ve used it when you apply for the Domestic RHI. The Green Homes Grant will then be deducted from your Domestic RHI payments. If you’re only claiming the Green Homes Grant for energy efficiency measures, then you don’t need to tell Ofgem.
Local Authority Delivery Scheme
You’re not eligible for the Green Homes Grant if you’ve already received a Local Authority Delivery Scheme grant.
How do I get involved with the Green Homes Grant scheme now?
Follow the application process explained earlier in this article. The first step is to check your eligibility for the Green Homes Grant scheme on the Simple Advice Energy website.
Tradespeople that are members of Rated People should register for the scheme and update their Rated People profiles now. Follow our simple steps to get your business ready.
Read the latest Green Homes Grant information and you’re ready to apply? Head over to Gov.uk.