The Green Homes Grant explained
The new Green Homes Grant for England was announced following the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. By heavily subsidising home energy efficiency improvements, it aims to stimulate the economy and cut carbon emissions. Although there have been some early teething problems, the scheme is extremely generous and is worth taking advantage of.
What is the Green Homes Grant?
A new government grant subsidising – or in some cases paying completely for – a range of energy efficiency and green heating upgrades for your home. What’s not to like?!
For most people, including landlords, the government will provide a maximum of £5000 to cover up to two-thirds of the cost of upgrades. This means for example that the government will pay £1650 towards work costing £2500, or £5000 towards work costing £7500 or more.
If you’re on one of a wide range of benefits, the government will pay 100% of the costs of work, up to a maximum of £10,000.
The government reckons that people could save up to £600 per year in energy bills, though this will likely be less most of the time as most users of the scheme will choose to have only one or two upgrades installed.
It’s worth noting that the scheme is only open in England. Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland could introduce their own schemes (and already have some existing schemes of their own) at some point in the future.
Why is it a big deal?
It’s a big deal because there has historically been very little government funding available for this sort of thing. There’s been some support for people on low incomes, but the Green Homes Grant is far more generous and open to everyone.
Almost all of the energy bills and carbon emissions generated by our homes come from heating. This means the Green Homes Grant is an excellent way to lower energy bills, whilst also making our homes warmer and greener.
What can I get done?
You must install one or more ‘primary measures’, to be eligible for a grant voucher. You will then becoming eligible for one or more secondary measures, up to the same value as received for the primary measure(s).
It is not possible to install secondary measures only.
Solid and cavity wall insulation
Flat roof and room in roof insulation
Low carbon heat:
Windows and doors:
Double/triple glazing (where replacing single glazing)
Secondary glazing (in addition to single glazing)
Energy efficient replacement doors (replacing doors installed before 2002)
Heating controls and insulation:
Heating controls (e.g. smart heating controls and thermostatic radiator valves)
Why can’t I just get double glazing?!
Alongside stimulating the economy, this scheme’s primary aim is to cut carbon emissions. Double glazing is very expensive and won’t stop that much heat from escaping the average house or flat.
The compulsory ‘primary’ measures represent upgrades which are best value for money in terms of carbon reduction. As a compromise, less efficient upgrades such as double glazing are listed as secondary measures which can be installed as long as primary measures are also present.
How do I apply?
The steps, set out by the government, are as follows:
Check if you’re eligible for a voucher on gov.uk, here.
Check what improvements may be suitable for your home using the government’s Simple Energy Advice tool, here.
Choose which improvements you would like and see an estimate of how much they may cost.
Find TrustMark registered installers and get written quotes for the work you’d like done, here. We’d recommend getting at least 2 or 3 quotes.
Apply for your voucher on gov.uk, here. You will need to upload the quotes you received from tradespeople.
After some early teething problems (not enough registered TrustMark tradespeople) the scheme was extended to 31st March 2022. It’s difficult to know what (if anything) will replace it, so we’d strongly recommend getting in on the scheme before it ends!
Is it worth it?
Yes, yes, and yes. It’s hard to see how it isn’t worth it. It’s free money!