Everything you need to know about the Green Homes Grant scheme

The government has announced plans to give homeowners and landlords a grant to make their home more energy efficient.

The Green Homes Grant scheme will give eligible homeowners and landlords a grant of at least two-thirds of the cost of energy-saving home improvements. More information has now been made available, here's all you need to know.

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What is the Green Homes Grant scheme?

The Green Homes Grant is a government scheme that will provide grants of up to £5,000 for homeowners and landlords to make their homes more energy efficient. The poorest and most vulnerable households will be able to access additional support worth up to £10,000.

What can the Green Homes Grant be used for?

Although the full details are yet to be released, grants can be used on a range of home improvements, including double glazing, roof insulation and wall insulation, all which can help to cut energy usage and lower household bills.

The measures the grant can be used for have been split into two categories - Primary Measures and Secondary Measures.

Primary Measures Secondary Measures
Insulation - cavity wall Draught proofing
Insulation - flat roof insulation Heating controls - appliance thermostats
Insulation - loft insulation Heating controls - delayed start thermostat
Insulation - room in roof insulation Heating controls - hot water tank insulation
Insulation - solid wall insulation Heating controls - hot water tank thermostats
Insulation - under-floor insulation Heating controls - smart heating controls
Low carbon heat - air source heat pump Heating controls - thermostatic radiator valves
Low carbon heat - ground source heat pump Heating controls - zone controls
Low carbon heat - park home Double/triple glazing (where replacing single glazing) for doors and windows
Low carbon heat - solar thermal Secondary glazing (in addition to single glazing) for doors and windows
Upgrading to energy efficient doors (where replacing doors installed prior to 2002)

If you want to use the grant to install low-carbon heating, you'll need to have adequate insulation - such as wall and loft - in place first. But this can be installed as part of a package, meaning you don't have to already have it in place, but will need to use some of the grant money to cover installation.

It's also worth bearing in mind that to qualify for funding for any Secondary Measures, you'll need to have at least one of the Primary Measures installed as part of the deal. And Secondary Measures can only be subsidised up to the amount of subsidy provided for Primary Measures. This means that if you successfully appy for a grant of £1,500 for Primary Measures, you'll only be eligible for a maximum of £1,500 to put towards Secondary Measures.

Why has the government launched the Green Homes Grant scheme?

The reasons for the launch are two-fold - to help households save money on their energy bills and also protect and create ‘green jobs’ in the installation and supply chain.

The scheme appears to be a more straightforward version of the Green Deal, which also offered grants to cover the cost of energy efficiency measures, but required a Green Deal Advisor or Assessor to carry out a Green Deal assessment on the property.

The Green Home Grant, on the other hand, is a simple voucher scheme which goes through an accredited supplier, which is a lot simpler and more targeted than the old Green Deal loan system, which required some complex documentation.

Who is eligible for a Green Homes Grant?

The scheme will only be open to homeowners and landlords in England, so if you’re a tenant you’ll need to get in touch with your landlord or letting agent to discuss getting a grant to cover the cost of any improvements.

The following types of property will be eligible for the grant:

  • All owner-occupied homes (including long-leaseholders, shared ownership).
  • Domestic properties owned by private sector landlords.
  • Domestic properties owned by social sector landlords (including local authority owned homes).
  • Park home owners (for residential sites including Gypsy and Traveller sites).

Eligibility will be means-tested, with part-funding available for up to two-thirds of the cost of home improvements, up to a maximum of £5,000 for any households not classed as ‘low-income’. Low-income households will be eligible for a grant of up to £10,000, which can cover 100% of the cost of improvements.

A low-income household is currently defined as any family earning less than 60% of the national median pay, which currently works out as anything less than £15,000 a year, before tax. On this basis, there are more than 13 million people in the UK living in low-income households.

How to apply for the Green Homes Grant

Applications will be open from September this year, via the Simple Energy Advice website. You can also visit the site to find out if you’re eligible for any of the other types of energy efficiency grants that are available. For more information, go to https://www.simpleenergyadvice.org.uk/grants

There are only certain energy efficiency measures that vouchers can be used for and, as part of the application process, it’s likely that you’ll need to get a quote in for the work from an accredited supplier. The voucher will then be issued once the work is approved.

It is expected that details of the timeframe within which this works needs to be done and published before the scheme starts in September.

Should you get a Green Homes Grant?

If you meet the eligibility criteria and your home is in need of energy efficiency improvements, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t sign up to the scheme.

Making your home more energy efficient means you’ll use less energy to heat it, which could cut your annual energy bills by as much as £600 a year, according to government estimates. These home improvements will also reduce the amount of energy lost through walls, roofs and windows, lowering your carbon footprint.

To get a quote on double glazing, go to https://www.ukpower.co.uk/double-glazing/quote-request

To get a quote on a new energy deal, which could compliment your energy efficiency measures by helping knock hundreds off the cost of your annual energy bills, run an energy price comparison with UKPower, the simple way to switch energy.

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Click here to run an energy price comparison, and see if you could be paying less for your gas and electricity.

Les Roberts - Energy Expert at UKPower

Les Roberts - Energy Expert at UKPower

If you’ve got an issue with your energy supplier, our consumer champion Les is on hand to help. A decade in consumer affairs means Les understands how confusing energy tariffs can be, so he'll cut through the jargon to help make sure you get the best deal.