It’s the latest government initiative that’s designed to encourage homeowners and landlords to improve the energy efficiency of their properties. But what does it entail, and is it worth investigating? Read on to find out.
NOTE: The Green Homes Grant has come to an end and will not accept new applications from 31 March 2021.
The scheme was first introduced in September 2020 as a way to make energy efficiency improvements more affordable for both homeowners and landlords in England. Grants are provided in voucher form to cover two-thirds of the costs of all improvements supported under the scheme, with a maximum ceiling of £5,000 per household. If you’re on a low income, you may be eligible for more: a voucher covering 100% of the cost of improvements up to a maximum of £10,000.
The grant provides eligible English residents with access to a series of grants – at least one primary measure (insulation or low carbon heat) must be installed to unlock a series of grants for secondary measures.
The deadline for new grants is 31 March 2021 as the scheme is coming to an end earlier than originally intended. As of March 2021, 27,000 vouchers worth around £115m have been distributed according to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
The scheme is open to English residents only and applies to three groups:
Homeowners, whether the home is owned freehold, long-leasehold or through a shared ownership scheme.
Park homeowners on a residential site – including gypsy and traveller sites.
Residential landlords – including housing associations and local authorities – in the private or social rental housing sector.
No, it’s an English-only scheme. Each devolved nation offers its own set of energy efficiency grants, however:
The Green Homes Grant issues a voucher to partially fund the cost of making various energy efficiency improvements to your property. Visit the Simple Energy Advice website for advice on suitable improvements.
These measures are divided into two categories: primary and secondary. At least one primary measure must be installed as part of your voucher:
|Insulation||Solid wall (internal or external)|
|Insulation||Under-floor (solid or suspended floor)|
|Insulation||Flat or pitched roof|
|Insulation||Room in roof insulation|
|Low carbon heat||Air or ground source heat pump|
|Low carbon heat||Solar thermal heating system|
|Low carbon heat||Biomass boiler|
|Low carbon heat||Hybrid heat pump|
After installing a primary measure, your voucher can be used to help part-fund the costs of a range of secondary measures:
|Windows and doors||Draught proofing|
|Windows and doors||Double or triple glazing (replacing single glazing)|
|Windows and doors||Secondary glazing (on top of single glazing)|
|Windows and doors||Energy efficient doors (replacing single or solid doors installed prior to 2002)|
|Heating controls and insulation||Hot water tank thermostat|
|Heating controls and insulation||Hot water tank insulation|
|Heating controls and insulation||Heating controls (including smart heating)|
The voucher will help to cover the costs of labour, materials and VAT. Work must be undertaken by a TrustMark-registered installer who has registered for the scheme. Note, you cannot contract the work out to yourself, a member of your household or someone in your immediate family. Also, the amount you can claim for secondary measures must be less than or equal to the amount you receive for primary measures:
The application process is quite long and complicated, which is why you should act fast if you think you might want to take advantage of the scheme. There’s a seven-step process to follow for each application.
TOP TIP: you can only redeem vouchers for secondary measures after the primary measure voucher has been redeemed, but you can apply for all the vouchers at the same time so there’s no need to stagger applications. Note, however, that vouchers must be redeemed within three months of receipt, or by 31 March 2022 (whichever comes sooner). You can apply to extend the voucher at any time before it expires, but the 31 March 2022 date is the final cut-off for all vouchers.
First, verify you’re eligible for the scheme by visiting the gov.uk Eligibility Checker online.
After choosing which energy efficiency measure(s) you’d like to install, use the Simple Energy Advice website to find a registered installer within a 30-mile radius of your property. Simply enter your postcode and use the drop-down menu to select the type of measure you’re looking to install – make sure it’s one covered by the scheme as shown above.
Next, obtain your quote(s) – a minimum of one is required, but given the voucher won’t cover the full cost of your improvements in most cases, it’s still sensible to get two or three quotes to avoid overpaying.
Once you’ve selected your quote, apply for your voucher online at gov.uk. Enter your personal details (name plus date of birth, along with those of anyone receiving benefits if it’s applicable), plus input the quote and provide a copy along with the TrustMark licence number of your chosen tradesperson.
If you’re planning multiple energy efficiency measures, you must apply for the primary measure first. If your application is successful, you’ll receive your voucher by email – one for each home improvement measure you’ve applied for. You can then apply for secondary vouchers, but remember you only have three months (or 31 March 2022) to redeem each one from the date of receipt.
The voucher won’t cover any work done before it’s issued, so don’t allow your installer to get started before it’s arrived. You’ll need to pay a deposit, which should not be more than is normally charged, and cannot exceed your expected contribution to the cost of the measures according to their quote.
Once the work is finished, your installer must provide you with:
a dated copy of an invoice showing the supply and installation cost of your chosen measures (one invoice per measure)
any certification for energy efficiency improvement measures
a guarantee document from the installer
an MCS certificate and relevant manufacturer instructions (if you have installed a low carbon heating measure)
a Biomass Suppliers List (if your measure is a biomass fuelled low carbon heating system)
Before redeeming your voucher, check for the following:
Make sure you have your reference number, post code, email address, voucher number, final cost of the measure (including VAT) and a digital copy of your dated invoice.
The work has been completed to a satisfactory standard.
You’ve received all the required documents as listed above.
Your share of the costs have been paid if applicable.
After redemption, the installer will receive the grant directly on your behalf – you won’t need to make any further payments.
If you’ve already been given funding from the ECO (Energy Company Obligation) scheme for a specific improvement, you cannot also claim a Green Homes Grant voucher. You can still claim grants for other energy efficiency improvements covered by the scheme that haven’t received ECO funding.
After claiming the grant, you may also apply for the Domestic Renewal Heat Incentive programme if you’ve had renewable heating installed. After claiming the grant to help part-fund or fund the installation, be sure to let Ofgem know you received help with the grant when applying to the RHI scheme, as this will affect your Domestic RHI payments.
One final scenario where you won’t be eligible to receive a Green Homes Grant voucher is if the Local Authority Delivery Scheme has already paid you a grant for the work via your local authority.
Last updated: 29 March 2021