Just as concerns were growing about the Green Homes Grant, for a number of reasons, at the end of last week the Government announced that the Green Homes Grant would be extended to March 2022. The original end date for the scheme was March 2021, which would have meant the GHG would have only existed for 6 months. Now, the £2bn available through the scheme will allow work on a potential 600,000 homes to be carried out in a much more realistic time scale.

Government press release

This announcement formed part of the Prime Minister’s 10-point plan for a green industrial revolution. This is the press release announced by the Government in full in relation to the GHG:

Homeowners across England will have until the end of March 2022 to have energy efficiency upgrades to their homes completed through the Green Homes Grant Voucher Scheme, helping up to 600,000 households save up to £600 on their energy bills.

The scheme funds up to 2 thirds of the cost of green home improvements up to £5,000, or 100% of the cost for homeowners on low incomes, up to £10,000. Measures covered include insulation of walls, floors and roofs, double or triple glazing when replacing single glazing, and low-carbon heating like heat pumps.

The Prime Minister announced the extension of both the Green Homes Grant and the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme in his 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, designed to help the country build back greener and help reach the UK’s key target for net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

£1 billion will be available next year into making new and existing homes and public buildings more efficient, including through the Green Homes Grant voucher scheme and the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme.

Minister for Climate Change Lord Callanan said:

The Green Homes Grant scheme gives homeowners and landlords right across the country a cheaper way to make their homes more energy efficient and cut their bills – all while making their contribution to tackling climate change.

Today’s announcement means an extra year to take advantage of this new scheme, helping households and tradespeople who can plan their workload and create new jobs in their communities. I would urge anyone to visit the Green Homes Grants website and see how they could benefit.

As part of his ambitious green recovery plan, Prime Minister Boris Johnson today announced funding for the drive to make homes, and public buildings like schools and hospitals more energy efficient, would continue until the end of the next financial year.

People have been able to apply for vouchers through the Green Homes Grant Scheme since September this year. Although restrictions are in place to help tackle the spread of coronavirus, government guidance is clear that homeowners can still have work done as long as installers follow the COVID-secure guidance.

Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders, Brian Berry, said:

The extension of the Green Homes Grant for another year is very positive news, and shows that builders’ concerns have been listened to. This will give the reassurance needed to the building industry to invest in the scheme. Our existing homes contribute 20% of all our carbon emissions and consume 35% of our energy.

Chief Executive of TrustMark, Simon Ayers, said:

Consumer confidence is not only essential to the recovery of the UK’s economy, but also to the protection and creation of key jobs that will support the long-term delivery of quality green home improvements.

We urge any tradespeople who want to be a part of the Green Homes Grant scheme to apply for TrustMark registration and Microgeneration Certification Scheme or Publicly Accessible Standards certification as soon as possible.

Realistic time frame

I think it became fairly obvious from the start that to achieve what the scheme aimed to do in just 6 months was going to be near impossible. It has been difficult to recruit companies to be part of the Green Homes Grant, leaving it difficult for homeowners to find anyone to actually do the proposed work.

Now the scheme has been given another 12 months. It forms part of a bigger 10-point plan from Boris Johnson that is designed to create a new green revolution in the economy.

To be clear, other than the time frame, not much has changed. You still require Trustmark accreditation if you’re a business that wants to take part in the scheme. Double glazing remains a secondary measure, only accessible after a primary measure has been installed first.

With another 12 months added to the lifespan of the scheme, this may provide more time to reach out to installation companies not just in this sector but others as well to convince them to join the scheme.

To read the entire GHG publication from the Government click here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/green-homes-grant-extended-for-extra-year

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