Last updated: 6th August 2020
The Green Homes Grant is part of the green measures initiative that was announced by the government on 8th July 2020, which is worth £3 billion overall. The scheme will offer vouchers to homeowners with the aim of helping 650,000 homes in England become more energy-efficient. From the research we did late last year, we know that twice as many homeowners are planning eco-friendly improvements in 2020 compared to 2019. This government incentive should help make sure that Covid-19 doesn’t stop homeowners from making those changes that will reduce their energy bills, provide work for tradespeople, and make progress on the UK’s net zero carbon emissions by 2050 target.
What is the Green Homes Grant?
Homeowners and landlords will be provided with a voucher worth up to £5,000, or £10,000 for low income households, to pay for home improvements that will save energy. The voucher will cover at least two thirds of the cost of installing green upgrades.
To be eligible for funding, households will need to install at least one of the following primary measures:
- 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 a homeowner already has one, or both, of the above 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.
Once one of the primary measures has been installed, then a household will be eligible for the following secondary measures:
- Draught proofing.
- Windows: Double/triple glazing (where replacing single glazing), secondary glazing in addition to single glazing.
- Doors: 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, there needs to be adequate insulation in the house. This can be installed as part of a package using the Green Homes Grant, alongside one of the above measures.
How can homeowners apply for the new government grant?
You should explain to any interested customers that 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.
Owners of new build domestic properties and non-domestic properties 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.
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.
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 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.
Do I need to have special certification to take part?
TrustMark is a government-endorsed quality scheme and MCS is an industry-led quality assurance scheme – allowing tradespeople to show homeowners that their work is of a high quality and that they’re committed to customer care.
How do tradespeople and homeowners get involved?
Register with TrustMark and/or MCS now, if you haven’t already.
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.
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.
We’ll keep this article up to date with the latest information, including a link to the online application portal once it’s live.