Green Homes Grant scheme
The government is urging organisations such as CIBSE, and their members, to register to deliver the Green Homes Grant scheme.
The Green Homes Grant will see the Government fund up to two-thirds of the cost of home improvements up to £5,000. Homeowners with low-incomes, including those on certain benefits, are eligible for a grant covering up to 100% of the cost of works up to £10,000. With £1.5 billion available through vouchers, the scheme aims to improve the energy efficiency of over 600,000 homes and support over 100,000 jobs in green construction for local plumbers, builders and tradespeople across the UK.
Installers must be registered with TrustMark and certified against PAS 2030, after which they will be added to a directory of certified installers on the Simple Energy Advice website. For high-rise buildings, park homes, or buildings which are both traditionally constructed and protected, the projects must follow PAS 2035. Homeowners can contact these installers to obtain a quote and, after the work is completed, the government will pay for costs covered by the voucher. Grants will be offered to cover primary green home improvement measures, ranging from insulation of walls, floors and roofs, and low-carbon heating like heat pumps or solar thermal, as well as secondary measures, such as the installation of double or triple glazing when replacing single glazing.
The launch of the Green Homes Grant forms part of the Government’s wider plan to upgrade the nation’s buildings, supporting an additional 120,000 jobs in the construction sector. A further £500m has been assigned for local authorities to provide green home improvements for households with an income of under £30,000.
Government also announced, on 23rd September, a construction skills competition which will fund thousands of training opportunities.
We welcome the intention; much more is needed to tackle the housing stock and meet our carbon and fuel poverty objectives, but this is a start and could help build supply chains in the sector, as well as tackling in priority the homes of those on low incomes.
We would, however, have liked to see 2 things to maximise opportunities and reduce the risk of unintended consequences:
- All works should be in line with PAS 2035.
- The voucher should be used to produce a building passport and long-term plan for zero carbon. This would meet the government's plans for digitisation, and would give homeowners a clear path for works to be carried out in the future, as and when is suitable and possible for them. This would only represent a small part of the £5,000 voucher, and would help determine the most appropriate measures to spend the rest of the voucher. It would also build the industry's capacity in producing building passports and zero carbon transition plans for the rest of the housing sector.