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The government’s Green Homes Grant scheme: What registered installers need to know

Last updated: 14th April 2021

The Green Homes Grant was part of the green measures initiative announced by the government on 8th July 2020. The scheme provided eligible homeowners and residential landlords with a voucher worth up to £5,000, or £10,000 for low income households, to cover at least two thirds of the cost of labour, materials and VAT for specific Green Homes Grant work.

Applications to become a Green Homes Grant installer and to get a voucher as a homeowner closed at 5pm on 31st March 2021. If you applied before the closing date, then your application will be processed and the Green Homes Grant team will be in touch to confirm if you’re successful. Although the scheme is closed to new applications, registered Green Homes Grant installers can continue to carry out work under the scheme.


FAQs

Before you start the work

Whilst you’re doing the work

What happens after the work’s done

Other FAQs


Can I ask the homeowner to pay a deposit?

Yes. It can’t be larger than the amount you’d normally charge, or larger than the homeowner’s expected contribution to the cost of the work (if applicable) under the quote you’ve given them. If the homeowner’s applying as a low income household, then you can’t ask them for a deposit unless the cost of the work is over £10,000 (the government limit). If that’s the case, then you can only ask for a deposit on the amount that’s over £10,000.

What training is available under the government green grant?

The government is providing free and subsidised training for tradespeople installing energy efficient measures, such as solid wall insulation, or low-carbon heating measures like heat pumps. Training is being delivered through 17 training providers across England.

Once training is completed, you’ll be able to carry out work under the Green Homes Grant.

Training is available across all four categories of Green Homes Grant jobs. Find a full list of the training opportunities on Gov.uk.

What do I need to know about each Green Homes Grant job?

In order to make sure that you’ll get paid, it’s important to stick to the government’s requirements for each Green Homes Grant job.

Primary measures

1. Insulation, for:

  • Solid walls (internal or external).
  • Cavity walls.
  • Under floor (solid floor or suspended floor).
  • Loft.
  • Flat roof.
  • Pitched roof.
  • Room in roof.
  • Park home.

If a homeowner chooses to install external solid wall insulation, then they must have all suitable space on the wall insulated. Similarly, if they choose to have internal solid wall insulation installed, they must insulate all external-facing space in the room.

If a home’s already partially insulated, then the owner can use the government green grant to insulate the rest. However, they 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. 

All low carbon heat measure must be used for space heating and/or domestic hot water heating purposes. They can’t be used for process heating, outdoor heating or heating swimming pools, for example.

Any heat pump installed in a 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 the 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 the homeowner will need to submit).
  • Only be installed in rural areas.

To have a low carbon heat measure installed, the homeowner must:

  1. Declare that they have planning permission, or that it isn’t required. Visit the Planning Portal website to find out how to get planning permission.
  2. Service any low carbon energy measures installed in their 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, the homeowner may need to have some insulation installed in their home.

If a homeowner has a low carbon heat measure installed in their 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 a homeowner already has one, or both, of the above primary measures installed in their home, then they 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.

Secondary measures

Cross section of roof showing insulation inside

3. Windows and doors

  • Draught proofing.
  • Double/triple glazing: can only be installed in cases where it’s replace single glazing.
  • Secondary glazing: can only be installed in addition to single glazing.
  • Upgrading to energy efficient doors: can only be installed 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.

Homeowners should have received individual vouchers for each measure they’ve applied for. They’ll need to redeem their voucher for the primary measure(s) that they have installed before they can redeem their voucher for their secondary measure(s).

What work should I not do under the Green Homes 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 a home. Excluding solar thermal, any low carbon heat measure that’s installed must completely replace the homeowner’s current fossil fuel heating system. For the hybrid heat pump measure, this means that they’ll need to get a new fossil fuel element for their heating system – this won’t be covered by the grant.

A homeowner’s Green Homes Grant voucher won’t cover:

  • 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 their 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 they get on the improvements which are best for their home.

When can I start Green Homes Grant work?

As soon as the homeowner’s Green Homes Grant application has been approved. You shouldn’t commit to starting any work until they can show you that they’ve been successfully issued with a voucher that has your name on it. Any work that’s started before the voucher’s been issued can’t be claimed.

How long do I have to complete Green Homes Grant work?

You must finish the work at least 7 days before the homeowner’s voucher expires. Vouchers usually expire 3 months from the date they’re issued.

Can I still complete Green Homes Grant work whilst the National Restrictions for coronavirus are in place?

Tradesperson wearing a mask and carrying a ladder into a customer's home

Yes. The government has confirmed that Green Homes Grant installers can continue to work whilst the national lockdown is in place. You must follow the COVID-19 Secure guidelines.

What evidence do I need to provide during the installation process, in order to get paid?

You’ll need to provide photographic evidence via a mobile app, before and after completing work under the Green Homes Grant scheme.

If your work is chosen for an on-site audit, this will need to be done before you can get paid.

How will I get paid through the Green Homes Grant scheme?

If applicable, the homeowner will need to pay their contribution straight to you first. Then, they can redeem their grant voucher by providing:

  • Their reference number (which they got when they first applied for the grant).
  • The postcode of the property where the measure has been installed.
  • The email address that they used to apply for the grant.
  • Their voucher number.
  • The final cost of the measure (including VAT as applicable).
  • A digital copy of their dated invoice (1 invoice for each measure that they get installed).

They’ll also need to confirm that:

  • The installation was completed satisfactorily.
  • That you (the installer) has given them the necessary certification documents.
  • They’ve paid their share of the costs to you (if applicable).

You’ll be paid once:

  1. The homeowner has redeemed their voucher.
  2. You’ve notified TrustMark that the work’s been done.
  3. The Green Homes Grant administrator has confirmed that the work meets the conditions of the voucher.

Then, the government’s share will be paid directly to you, the tradesperson.

The government has stated that accepting non-payment or providing cashback for the customer contribution, or paying it yourself as the tradesperson, will invalidate the voucher.

Who will pay any subcontractors that I use?

As the primary installer, you’re responsible for paying any subcontractors that you use.

What documents do I need to give the homeowner once the work’s complete?

After the work’s done, you need to give the homeowner:

  • A dated copy of an invoice, which shows the supply and installation cost of their chosen measures, within 14 days of completing the work. You need to provide 1 invoice for each measure that you install in each home.
  • Any relevant certification for energy efficiency improvement measures.
  • Any claim of conformity or handover packs (as according to the relevant PAS).
  • A guarantee document.
  • An MCS certificate, MCS compliance certificate and the relevant manufacturer instructions, if you install a low carbon heating measure.
  • A Biomass Suppliers List, including instructions stating that all fuel used in the boiler must be bought from the BSL, if you’ve installed a biomass fuelled low carbon heating system.

Who do I need to tell once the work’s done?

Within 30 days of completing the work, you need to tell the relevant body of your installations (as according to the requirements of building regulations).

You also need to tell TrustMark that the work is complete.

Can I do Green Homes Grant work in my own home if I’m a homeowner?

No. The government has stated that the work can’t be completed by the homeowner, a member of their household or their immediate family.

Can a homeowner use the government grant voucher to pay me for work done before they got their voucher?

No – the government recently confirmed that the grant cannot be used to pay for works carried out before the voucher is issued.

Is there any green work available for tradespeople 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:

If the homeowner you’re doing Green Homes Grant work for needs advice, they can find it on our Homeowner Advice Centre.

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10 Comments

  1. Hi my name is Colin gas engineer 30 yrs experience in gas boiler repairs and installation and gas landlord certificates

    1. Hi Colin, it’s great to hear about your extensive experience and certificates! If you’d like to find out more about how Rated People can help you to find new jobs, fill in this form and we’ll be in touch for a chat.

  2. Hi, having been fitting insulated render for the past 7 years, do you need to have any special criteria to be eligible to do such work on the green scheme? As well as being on rated people I am on the approved list of k rend contractors.
    Shaun murray

  3. I’m very interested in signing up for this eco insulation work for the benefit of our customers….as soon as it starts up…David kelly taurian plastering services

  4. Hi. I am in the midlands and trying to find a trust mark insulation company to give a quote for a park home

    1. Hi Elaine, I’d recommend that you post your job for free on Rated People, so that three tradespeople in the Midlands can give you a quote for your park home insulation job. In your job description, you should mention that you’d like to use the Green Homes Grant and that TrustMark membership is required, to encourage registered tradespeople to get in touch with you. You can also ask tradespeople to give you their TrustMark licence number when they quote, and then you can check it on the TrustMark website. Post your job for free on Rated People: https://www.ratedpeople.com/

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