The Green Homes Grant Saga
When the government rolled out the green homes grant scheme, they had high hopes and even higher aspirations. However, after an underwhelming take up of the scheme, the government is now backtracking. So let’s take a look at what went wrong and where that leaves contractors and homeowners.
The Idea Of The Green Homes Grant
Under the green homes grant, homeowners can get up to £5,000 in vouchers to cover up to two-thirds of the cost of installing specific energy-saving or carbon-reducing home improvements. Homeowners, on some types of benefits, can apply for vouchers up to £10,000 to cover the entire cost of the work.
All of the improvements covered under the scheme should save homeowners money in the long run. But the rules are a little confusing. The vouchers cover one ‘primary’ home insulation or low carbon measure. You can then extended your grant to cover a secondary measure as well.
For example, you can get a voucher to cover getting cavity wall insulation or loft insulation. You can’t use it to pay for a replacement energy efficient door unless you also get something else done, like installing a heat pump.
The scheme aimed to make homes more energy-efficient and create jobs at the same time.
The Issues That Arose
The first problem for homeowners was finding an approved contractor. Contractors need to be both TrustMark and Publicly Available Specification standards accredited. With only 1,200 contractors meeting this standard, finding one in your area who offers the service you want is not an easy task. In fact, 86% of people who tried to use the scheme had a negative experience.
Once you’ve found a contractor, you then have to apply for a voucher. The contractor can’t start the work until the government issues the voucher. Unsurprisingly there have been long delays in the issuing of vouchers. Which has, in turn, delayed the work being completed.
How Things Stand Now
The aim of the scheme was to create 100,000 jobs. Even the most optimistic estimates suggest that less than 45,000 jobs have been made. Most of these new jobs will disappear when the scheme ends.
The scheme will remain open until March 2022. Many installers report that demand is unmanageable. Unless the government can sort the delays in vouchers, all these jobs will remain incomplete. Simultaneously, the government has taken out £1trillion from the scheme. This is half of what it allocated to the grants to start with.
So the scheme is still active, but you may struggle to get vouchers, and if you do, you may not find an approved installer who has the capacity to do the work.
Getting Work Done On Your Home
If the green homes grant has got you thinking about improving your home’s green credentials, then we can help you make some decision. For instance, we can help you complete the heat loss calculations needed for installing the correct heat pump in your home. Why not contact our team of experts to see how we can help you make your home more energy-efficient.