Last updated: 6th August 2020
On the 8th July 2020, the government unveiled a package of green measures worth £3 billion. One of the measures is the Green Homes Grant – a voucher scheme to help 650,000 homes in England become more energy-efficient. With twice as many homeowners planning green improvements this year compared to 2019, 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.
What is the Green Homes Grant?
The grant will provide homeowners and landlords with a voucher worth up to £5,000, or £10,000 for low income households, to pay for energy saving home improvements. The voucher will cover at least two thirds of the cost of installing green upgrades.
To be eligible for funding, you will need to install at least one of the following primary measures using the grant:
- Insulation: Solid wall, cavity wall, under floor, loft, flat roof, room in roof or park home insulation.
- Low carbon heat: Air source heat pump, ground source heat pump or solar thermal.
If you already have one, or both, of the above 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 you will be eligible for the following secondary measures:
- Draught proofing.
- Windows and doors: Double/triple glazing (where replacing single glazing), secondary glazing in addition to single glazing or upgrading to energy efficient doors (where replacing doors installed before 2002).
- Heating controls and insulation: Appliance thermostats, hot water tank thermostats, hot water tank insulation, smart heating controls, zone controls, delayed start thermostats or thermostatic radiator valves.
Secondary measures can only be subsidised up to the amount of subsidy provided for primary measures. 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.
For low-carbon heating to be installed, your house will need to have adequate insulation. This can be installed through the Green Homes Grant, as part of a package alongside the above measures.
How do I apply for the new government grant?
The scheme will open in September 2020 and close at the end of March 2021. To apply, homeowners will need to answer some questions about their home and select which green home improvement they want to make. After that, they’ll be directed to local, accredited suppliers who’ll provide a quote for the job. Then, a voucher will be issued by the government.
- Homeowners with an owner-occupied home, including long-leaseholders and shared ownership homeowners.
- Landlords of private rented sector domestic properties.
- Landlords of social sector domestic properties (including LA owned homes).
- Park home owners, for residential sites including Gypsy and Traveller sites.
If you own a new build domestic property or non-domestic property aren’t eligible for green upgrades through the Green Homes Grant.
Low income households are those receiving at least one of the following benefits:
- Income based Jobseekers allowance (JSA).
- 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.
The government expects that the scheme will benefit around 650,000 houses.
Homeowners: What are the benefits?
- Save money on 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.
Tradespeople: What are the benefits?
- Higher consumer demand: At Rated People, we’ve seen an influx in jobs as lockdown eases. With twice as many homeowners planning on making green improvements this year and the Green Homes Scheme coming into place, we’re expecting to see even more new jobs posted.
- Opportunity to learn new skills: 29% of tradespeople on Rated People have seen a rise in green-related jobs this year. So, it’s a great time to invest in gaining skills around this area.
- Increase your business capabilities: The government expects that the scheme will create 140,000 new jobs. They’ll also provide incentives to employers who hire young people through apprenticeships and traineeships, so it’s a great time to take on new staff to meet the increased consumer demand.
How can I make sure that the work will be completed to a high standard?
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.
So, you can be confident that all work done in your home will be completed to a high standard.
How do I get involved?
Rated People can connect homeowners looking to make use of the Green Homes Grant with vetted local trades businesses. By posting a job on Rated People, homeowners can get advice and information on what eco-friendly measures are best for their house and how much the work will cost – and ultimately find a trusted trades business to do the work.
Tradespeople that are members of Rated People should add the relevant green skills for their trade, such as fitting double glazing and installing energy-efficient boilers, to their profiles now to get ready for the scheme. It’s also a good idea for tradespeople to make sure that the skills already selected on their profiles match the green jobs that homeowners might want done.
We’ll keep this article up to date with the latest information, including a link to the online application portal once it’s live.