The Government will soon launch a £2 billion fund to help homeowners make their properties more energy efficient. Here’s how it could help you reduce your energy bills.
As things change rapidly during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, this guide will be updated regularly to reflect changes in rules and regulations.
From late September, the UK Government will be offering up to £10,000 to households in England to make their homes more energy efficient.
Homeowners and landlords will be able to use these grants to make a wide range of changes to their homes. These include:
Double or triple glazed windows
Floor, wall and roof insulation
Solar thermal energy systems
Thermostats and heating controls
The grants will cover two-thirds of the cost of making an eligible energy efficient home improvement, up to a maximum payment of £5,000.
Those from the lowest income households may be able to get the full cost of any eligible home improvements covered up to a maximum of £10,000 per home.
The government will pay out the grants in the form of vouchers, once the work you want done is approved. It has said that it expects to be able to provide vouchers to around 600,000 homeowners in total.
These vouchers will then be used to pay tradespeople carrying out the home improvements.
To be able to get financial support through the scheme, your household has to be making one of the following types of ‘primary’ home improvements:
Insulation (Solid wall, cavity wall, under-floor, loft, flat roof, room in roof or park home)
Low carbon heating systems (Air source heat pump, ground source heat pump or solar thermal)
As long as you plan to make at least one of these ‘primary’ home improvements, you can also get funding for ‘secondary’ changes, including:
Double/triple glazing (if you’re replacing single glazing windows)
Secondary glazing (in addition to single glazing)
Upgrading to energy efficient doors (if you’re replacing doors installed before 2002).
Heating controls and insulation - including appliance thermostats, hot water tank thermostats, hot water tank insulation, smart heating controls, and thermostatic radiator valves.
The amount you can receive for any ‘secondary’ improvements cannot be more than the sum you get to help cover the cost of a ‘primary’ home improvement.
For example, if a household receives £1,000 for solid wall insulation (a measure from the primary category), then they can only receive a maximum of £1,000 towards getting double glazing (a ‘secondary’ measure).
The government has said that you will be offered a list of accredited tradespeople in your area who are registered to be able to carry out the relevant work.
To be eligible to receive a Green Homes Grant voucher you must fall into one of the following groups:
A home owner-occupier (this includes long-leaseholders and those with a shared ownership home)
Landlord of a private rental home
Landlord of a social housing property (this includes local authority-run homes)
Park home owner (this covers residential sites that include Traveller and Gypsy sites)
Be aware that if you own a new-build property, you will not be eligible to receive a voucher.
The costs of carrying out different types of work will vary. The government gives the following example.
“If a homeowner of a semi-detached or end-terrace installed cavity wall and floor insulation, costing around £4,000, the homeowner would pay just £1,320 – with the government paying £2,680.”
It’s also worth thinking about the future cost savings you may be able to make. The government suggests that in the example above, the homeowner could save over £200 a year on their bills.
Who qualifies for the low income scheme?
To be eligible to receive up to £10,000 in vouchers, you’ll need to be an owner-occupier of a property or park home and be receiving at least one of the following income-based or disability benefits:
Income based Jobseekers allowance (JSA)
Income based Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)
Income Support (IS)
Pension Guarantee Credit
Working Tax Credit (WTC)
Child Tax Credits (CTC)
Universal Credit (UC)
Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
Severe Disablement Allowance
Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
Contribution based Jobseekers allowance (JSA)
Contribution based Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)
How can you apply for a grant?
If you want to be considered for a voucher you’ll need to fill in an online application form via the Simple Energy Advice website.
The government has said that the Green Homes Grant will “go live” at the end of next month.
The online application will present you with a list of approved home improvement measures that your voucher can be spent on. You’ll then be shown a list of scheme-accredited suppliers.
You’ll then need to request a quote from one of these suppliers, which suggests how much this work would cost. The government will then approve the work and send a voucher.