A Simple Guide To Green Homes Grants
As part of a range of measures designed to support the economy during the Covid-19 pandemic the Government have recently announced the Green Homes Grant scheme.
Here’s our simple guide to what the Green Homes Grant is, who can apply for a Green Homes Grant and how it will work.
What’s the purpose of the Green Homes Grant ?
The Green Homes Grant has been introduced primarily as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is intended to encourage a green recovery, cut carbon emissions, reduce energy bills and support employment in the construction industry.
The scheme involves a £2 billion investment from the Government. It is intended to fund up to two thirds of the cost of home improvements in over 600,000 homes and support over 100,000 jobs in green construction. The Government estimates that those who take advantage of the scheme could save up to £600 a year on their energy bills.
Who can get a Green Homes Grant ?
The grant is available to homeowners, including shared ownership properties, and to social and private landlords including buy to let landlords in England.
The main benefit for homeowners will be to save money on their energy bills. Work done under the grant could also potentially add value to their property.
Landlords could also benefit in that energy efficiency work could make their property more attractive to tenants, more lettable and help make the rent more affordable to their tenants. A Green Homes Grant could also help make property that is not currently legally lettable (because it has an EPC rating in band F or G) lettable again.
What properties are eligible for a Green Homes Grant ?
All residential properties are eligible for a Green Homes Grant including park homes. New builds and non-residential properties are not eligible.
How much can you get as a Green Homes Grant ?
Most applicants will be able to apply for a Green Homes Grant of two thirds of the cost of the work up to £5,000. Those on low incomes (in receipt of an income or disability based benefit) will be able to apply for up to 100% of the cost of improvements up to £10,000.
The Government give another example of the benefits that might be possible: They say that if a homeowner of a semi-detached or end-terrace property installs cavity wall and floor insulation, costing around £4,000, the homeowner would pay £1,320 – with the Government paying £2,680. They say this work could save the owner over £200 annually on their energy bills and reduce their carbon footprint by cutting 700kg of CO² emissions a year from their property.
What work can be paid for using a Green Homes Grant ?
The Green Homes Grant scheme divides energy saving measures into primary and secondary categories. To receive a grant for measures in the secondary category property owners will need to have the measures in the primary category in place.
The primary measures are: Insulation – solid wall, cavity wall, under-floor, loft, flat roof, room in roof, park home. Low carbon heat – air source heat pump, ground source heat pump, solar thermal.
The secondary measures are: Draught proofing. Windows and doors. Double/triple glazing, where replacing single glazing. Secondary glazing, in addition to single glazing. Upgrading to energy efficient doors. A range of heating controls and insulation measures.
Secondary measures can only be subsidised up to the amount of subsidy provided for primary measures.
Replacing existing energy saving measures will not be covered but the cost of ‘top ups’ to bring them up to current standards may be.
The Government is promoting a website, Simple Energy Advice, in order to offer property owners advice on what energy saving measures might benefit them. The Simple Energy Advice website will also provide details of suitable local suppliers for the different types of work which owners can contact.
How to get Green Homes Grant work completed
Work under the Green Homes Grant scheme can be carried out by a company providing these services, such as a home improvements or energy efficiency company or a builder. However they will need to be registered under the TrustMark scheme or have Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) accreditation for the grant to be paid.
Suppliers can register for these schemes now if they are not already registered.
It’s likely that as the scheme comes into operation more accredited businesses will be advertising that they are able to do work under the Green Homes Grant scheme. Many will be able to advise property owners on what they will be able to claim for and how to apply for a grant.
How to apply for a Green Homes Grant
Details of how to apply for a Green Homes Grant have not been released at time of writing. The Government says full details should be made available in September with the scheme opening for applications shortly afterwards. It is anticipated that property owners will need to find a supplier to do the work and then apply for a grant online. If successful they will be given a voucher with which they can then pay for the work.