The Green Homes Grant scheme - what is it and can you apply?
By: Ryan Jay
29 Oct 2020
The winter months are looming, bringing shorter days and colder weather. And with lockdown measures becoming stricter across the country, it’s likely that we’ll all be spending more days and nights in our homes. The extra time indoors will put a strain on the energy efficiency of our homes, particularly buildings that have stood for nearly a century.
To help homeowners make upgrades that they need over the winter, the government has introduced the Green Homes Grant.
Under the Green Homes Grant scheme, homeowners and landlords in England can apply for vouchers worth up to two thirds of the cost of upgrading the energy efficiency of their home. There are many pre-approved upgrades that the vouchers can contribute to, but the upgrades must meet certain criteria.
So if you’re a homeowner or a landlord, now might be the best time to upgrade the energy efficiency of your property. We’ve done all the research to give you the lowdown of what you're entitled to and how to claim it.
How do I sign up?
The UK Government website has a dedicated Green Homes Grant page where you can check eligibility for home improvements. Be prepared to complete a survey about your home and its occupants to help determine the best possible measures.
Once you start to get an idea of what needs upgrading in your home, it’s time to speak to some relevant tradespeople. Surveys of your property and quotes for work are key to authenticating your claim. Bear in mind as well that when you apply for the voucher, you’ll need to include details of your chosen upgrades and the tradespeople who will be carrying these out for you.
The UK Government suggests to undertake physical inspections when seeking out quotes. Make sure you follow all COVID-19 safety measures when arranging for tradespeople to inspect your property.
What kind of upgrades do the vouchers contribute to?
All sorts, including installations and replacements. However, there are eligibility requirements you must fulfil to qualify for vouchers. The most important requirement is that you must upgrade or install one of the following:
- Solid wall, under-floor, cavity wall or roof insulation
- Air source or ground source heat pump (where the home has, or is having installed wall and loft insulation)
- Solar thermal (where the home has, or is having installed wall and loft insulation)
- Biomass pellet boilers
In addition, you can use your voucher for further energy saving measures, including one or more of the following:
- Double or triple glazing/secondary glazing, when replacing single glazing
- Energy efficient doors
- Hot water tank, appliance tank thermostats or heating controls
Sounds great! So how much of the cost do the vouchers cover?
Good question. The vouchers don’t cover the entire cost of your installation upgrades, but they do make a large dent. Vouchers will cover two-thirds of the cost of eligible improvements, with a maximum contribution of £5,000. And if you or someone in your household receives certain benefits, you may be eligible for a voucher covering 100% of the cost of the improvements.
The vouchers will also cover some supplementary costs. These include professional services (such as structural engineer costs), contractor costs (such as waste removal and scaffolding) and associated work, such as improving ventilation and changes to pipework and radiators.
You must redeem your Green Homes Grant voucher and ensure improvements are completed by 31 March 2022. And with winter on its way, local tradespeople will likely be taking bookings that will impact their availability. So start organising quotes, fill out the survey and take the first steps in upgrading to a greener home.