Home energy improvement grants announced by Government

9 July 2020   By Dr Lucy Brown, Editor

The Green Homes Grant was confirmed in the Government's summer statement as part of the plan to restart the economy following the coronavirus crisis.

Eligible households will receive a grant of at least two-thirds of the cost of energy-saving home improvements.

This will be capped at £5,000 for most, although the poorest households will be able to access additional support worth up to £10,000.

The scheme will launch in September with online applications and details of local suppliers accredited to undertake the work.

insulation loft home

Home improvements

Under the Green Homes Grant scheme, homeowners and landlords will be able to access funding to upgrade the energy efficiency of their homes.

The grant will cover at least two-thirds of the costs of home energy improvements up to a cap of £5,000 per household, with homeowners and landlords paying the remainder of the costs.

For households on the lowest incomes, the scheme will fully fund energy efficiency improvements up to a cap of £10,000 per household.

It's possible 650,000 homes could benefit from the £2bn voucher scheme, although immediate criticism argued there was no provision for renters to benefit directly and so they may be left out.

September launch

The scheme will officially launch in September, and it's likely more comprehensive information about applying for grants will be confirmed in the next two months.

While home insulation measures such as loft and cavity wall insulation are certain to be included, double glazing also looks to be part of the scheme and there may be other home efficiency measures included too.

The process for applications will be online and households will only be able to apply for vouchers which recover recommended energy efficiency measures installed by accredited local suppliers.

After a quote has been provided by one of the suppliers and the work is approved by the scheme, the voucher will be issued to the household and the installation can begin.

To learn more about which home energy upgrades save the most money and how they work, read our dedicated guide.

Or find out how to get a cheap new boiler as part of the Government's ECO3 scheme, read this guide.

Lowering energy bills

The Treasury hopes that the benefits of the Green Homes Grant scheme will be twofold - it will protect up to 10,000 jobs in the installation and supply chain while also helping households save money on their energy bills.

Government estimates say improved insulation could save households up to £600 a year on their energy bills, although this at the higher end of predictions.

At the same time, though, energy efficiency measures can limit the amount of energy lost through walls, roofs and windows, lowering a household's carbon footprint.

The new scheme has echoes of the Green Deal programme introduced by the Coalition Government in 2013 which proved so popular the Home Improvement Fund quickly reached its budget and was closed.

Although a further £70m was made available in March 2015, the programme was abruptly ended a few months later after the Conservatives took full control of the Government in the 2015 election.

The Green Deal was a complex scheme (we covered the problems in-depth in this guide), and the benefits of the Green Homes Grant initially seem easier to spell out.

A simple voucher scheme which goes through an accredited supplier is more straightforward than the old Green Deal loan system, and it is a targeted measure that is easily understood without having to read complex documentation.

However, whether homeowners and landlords will feel they have the financial security to pay their share of the improvements covered by the Green Homes Grant remains to be seen.

How much could you save on your energy bill?

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