What Is A Green Energy Grant And How To Get One?

The Green Homes Grants Scheme & How To Get a grant

You can apply for up to £5k Green Homes Grant vouchers for green home improvements to improve your homes energy efficiency RIGHT NOW.

To help homeowners make green home improvements, and get on the energy saving pathway towards better energy efficiency – the Green Homes Grant offers the opportunity to cover the cost of your home improvements with vouchers up to the value of £5,000. These vouchers can cover the cost of heat pumps and their installation, insulation, low carbon heating, cavity wall insulation, loft insulation, draught proofing, double glazing and more.

The green homes grant scheme was launched in September 2020 and will run until 31 March 2022 (having been extended in November 2020). The government anticipates that the grant will help to improve around 650,000 homes energy efficiency in England alone.

Both homeowners and landlords are eligible for the geen homes grant, although domestic and non-domestic properties (such as shops and offices) are not if newly constructed. You can not apply directly if you are a tenant, but your landlord can. If you are on a low income and would benefit financially from the savings you could make if your home were more energy efficient then we would definitely advise you to ask your landlord to apply for the green homes grant and advise them of the energy saving solutions you would benefit from as a tenant.

How Can I Apply for the Green Homes Grant?

Apply For The The Green Homes Grants Scheme

You can follow these three steps in order to apply for the Green Homes Grant for home improvements, energy efficiency and energy saving solutions:

Step One

To find out if you are eligible for funding via the green homes grant scheme, and check which energy saving or low-carbon measures can be added to your home, go to the Simple Energy Advice (SEA) service.

Step Two

To undertake the work, find TrustMark and/or Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) registered tradespeople. To make sure that you get the best value for money, it is recommended to obtain at least three quotes. Accredited trade in your region will be highlighted on the SEA website.

Step Three

To obtain your voucher, make an online application using the government website, detailing the energy efficiency measures you want to carry out.

In order to complete step three, you will need:

  • Name and date of birth of the owner or owners of the property
  • The name and DOB of anyone who receives benefits living in the property
  • A quote by a TrustMark-registered tradesperson for the work
  • The license number for TrustMark of your chosen trading manager

Which Home Improvements Can I Get?

solar panels

The Green Homes Grant gives vouchers for homeowners and landlords to hire someone to:

  • Install insulation
  • Heating low in carbon (such as heat pump systems, biomass boiler or solar thermal panels)
  • Furthermore, for further energy-saving measures, households can use vouchers. These include one of the following or more:
  • Glazing double/triple (only where replacing single glazing)
  • Doors that are energy-efficient (only where replacing doors installed prior to 2002)
  • Proofing for Draught
  • Heating controls, such as smart controls and thermostats.

What Isn’t Covered By The Green Homes Grant?

conservatories not included

One notable appliance that is missing from the green homes grant is the gas boiler. And while solar thermal panels are included in the grant, there is no coverage for solar photovoltaic panels.

The following is not covered by the Green Homes Grant:

  • Any renovation that was done prior to the issuance of a voucher
  • Any renovation that does not enhance the energy efficiency of a home
  • Construction of an extension to your home
  • Insulating extensions or conservatories which do not have installed fixed heating

How Much Are The Green Homes Grant Scheme Vouchers Worth?

For such home improvements (including insulation and low carbon heating) that save electricity, most households would be eligible to apply for vouchers of up to £ 5,000.

Two-thirds of the expense of upgrades are covered by the vouchers, so you will need to pay the other third. For instance, if you were to have built internal wall insulation for around £ 5,000, the government would contribute about £ 3,660, and you, the homeowner, would pay around £ 1,340.

Low-income households are eligible for upgrades of up to £ 10,000, and they would not have to add anything to the cost. If you are eligible for up to £10k when you apply for a voucher, then you’ll be informed.

How Does the Green Homes Grant Work?

The qualified enhancements are split into two groups, as mentioned above: primary and secondary.

At least one measure from the primary group must be built by homeowners to apply for the vouchers.

Primary Measures You Can Get A Grant For include:

  • Hybrid heat pump
  • Ground source heat pump
  • Air source heat pumps
  • Cavity wall insulation
  • Solid wall (internal or external) insulation
  • Under-floor (solid floor, suspended floor) insulation
  • Flat roof insulation
  • Loft insulation
  • Room in roof insulation
  • Pitched roof insulation
  • Biomass boiler
  • Solar thermal

You can only apply for a secondary installation as a part of the green homes grant scheme provided that at least one measure from the primary category has been applied for.

Secondary measure vouchers shall be capped at the same level as provided for in relation to the primary measures.

If you demand £ 1,500 for insulation, for example, then you will get a maximum of £ 1,500 for double glazing.

Secondary measures include:

  • Energy-efficient replacement doors (if you have a single door that was last replaced pre 2002 then you can apply for a door)
  • Double or triple glazing (if you are replacing single glazing)
  • Secondary glazing (to replace single glazing)
  • Draught proofing
  • Hot water tank insulation
  • Hot water tank thermostat
  • Heating controls (such as appliance thermostats, smart meters and controls, ai controls)

How Long Are Green Homes Grant Scheme Vouchers Valid For?

The green homes grant scheme vouchers for will remain valid for a period of three months from the date of issue or until 31 March 2022, whichever is earlier.

For instance, if your voucher is accepted in February 2021, to ensure that the work is done, you will have until May 2021.

However, for situations beyond their control, homeowners may request an extension.

How Do I Redeem My Voucher?

You can redeem your voucher here once your work has been done (and you are pleased with it).

Will These Improvements Make My Home More Energy Efficient?

home energy efficiency

According to the Treasury, using the green homes grant scheme vouchers will help families make an average annual energy saving of £600 on your energy bills. Your carbon footprint will also be lowered by 700kg of carbon emissions each year – This is clear, simple energy advice that doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see how great it is and great for tenants you may have that are on a low income.

Another advantage of the system is that it could help homeowners raise the value of their properties. Six of the qualifying grant changes have been studied by personal finance experts, money.co.uk, and here is how much they could potentially make or save us:

  1. Biomass boiler: +3.2% (£8,000)
  2. Ground source heat pumps: +5.4% (£13,407)
  3. Solar Panels: +14% (£34,758)
  4. Double glazing: +10% (£24,827)
  5. Insulation Measures: +6.4% (£16,000)
  6. Heating controls: +6.4% (£16,000)

* based on the average home worth £ 248,271 in England.

As homeowners search for entry to the Green Homes Grant, a November report by MCS reported that there had been a substantial increase in heat pump enquiries.

Over three-fifths, (66%) of MCS installers said UK homeowners were inquiring about heat pumps, with 75% stating that up to 25 grant calls a day had been made.

Are the Vouchers Enough To Cover Low Carbon Heating?

While the initiative has been praised for its green intentions, it has come under criticism for not having enough cash to assist homeowners.

In early December, Conservative MP Philip Dunne told the Environmental Audit Committee that the Northern Housing Consortium, which represents housing organizations in the north of England, had presented evidence that the cost of complete refurbishments could be as high as £ 24,300 per household.

The vouchers that are available under the Green Homes Grant are currently based on Industry, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) figures, which mean that the average cost of improvements is about £ 4,700 per household.

Green Homes Grant Extended Until 2022

It was announced on 17 November 2020 that the scheme will be extended until 31 March 2022 to provide more time for homeowners to make changes and to provide more opportunities for accredited traders to meet demand.

The announcement followed criticism from tradesmen, homeowners and industry experts that the original deadline of 31 March 2021 was too short, raising fear that some projects would not be finished on time.

There were also fears that the grant could be oversubscribed, with 300,000 homeowners possibly losing out because of demand. And applicants indicated that they were unable to obtain quotes from installers within their area, leading to fears that the scheme would turn into a lottery-based upon postcode.

Tradespeople Must be Supported

trades people and solar installers

The extension of the grant was also welcomed by industry bodies, who say the additional time would be necessary to help benefit more tradespeople.

Due to the lengthy application and associated costs, only local and certified TrustMark and Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) registered traders may perform the work that some SME traders have been left frustrated by.

Chrissie Lloyd, Urbane Eco’s managing director, told us that it was impractical for the average SME to apply for a grant. And Rated People, a website that helps clients locate professional tradespeople, claims that certain smaller companies are alienated by the new registration process.

Calls Grow For Long-Term Policy

Despite the extension, activists also want to see the government enact a longer-term strategy to ensure that homes for years to come to continue to be retrofitted.

The extension was welcomed by Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders, but he added that green refurbishment grants should be available by 2040.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak opted not to implement a long-term retrofit plan in the government’s November Spending Review.

Concern Over Green Homes Grant Scams

There has been a concern since the scheme’s launch that some scam artists might abuse the trust and the grant system.

Meanwhile, This is Money claims that when applying for upgrades, there have been allegations that homeowners are faced with overinflated quotes.

If you have sadly already fallen victim, then you can report the incidents and losses to Action Fraud online or over the telephone.

Is the Green Homes Grant Available in All Parts of the UK and Ireland?

The Green Homes Grant is available in England only, but alternate funding sources are available:

In Scotland – search with Scotland Home Energy

See what you can access through Nest in Wales –

We recommend contacting NI Energy Advice in Northern Ireland.

Hundreds of homes would soon become the first in the world to use 100 per cent renewable hydrogen to heat their properties and cook their meals as part of Scotland’s green homes pledge. The new trial could help substitute fossil-fuel gas for households across the world.

Can the Green Energy Grant be Used With the Renewable Heat Initiative?

Sure, but only if you first apply for the grant and then apply for the RHI. The amount of their expected RHI payments would then be taken away from the expense of the vouchers issued.

This can’t work the other way round though: you can’t first apply for RHI and then apply for the Green Homes Grant.

Do I Need an Energy Performance Certificate?

Strictly speaking, in order to complete the eligibility questionnaire or to qualify for the award, there is no prerequisite for you to have an EPC. But it’s good to have an EPC, as it offers up-to-date data on the energy efficiency measures that are better suited to your home.

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