Hundreds of thousands of homeowners in England will receive £5,000 vouchers to reduce the cost of energy-saving home improvements, Chancellor Rishi Sunak is set to announce.
The £2 billion Green Homes Grant will subsidise two-thirds of the cost of emission-cutting measures like installing insulation and double glazing, according to BBC News.
About half the fund will go to the poorest households, which could receive vouchers worth up to £10,000.
More than 100,000 jobs could be supported by the vouchers, which the Treasury said would be handed out across one financial year.
The scheme also aims to help the UK reach its goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Labour shadow business secretary Ed Miliband welcomed the news, but criticised the government for excluding renters.
“This is not a comprehensive plan,” Miliband commented. “It appears there is almost nothing for the people who rent the 8.5 million homes in the social rented sector and private rented sector, which has the worst energy efficiency standards.”
“That means one third of people are left out.”
How much will you save?
Most people who receive vouchers will save £5,000 – as long as they spend £2,500.
It’s not clear exactly which energy-saving upgrades the government will agree to fund, but we can tell you how much you would save on each of the most common improvements.
For instance, double glazing costs £890 per window, on average, meaning a government voucher for two windows would save you £1,187. You would pay £593.
How does it work?
You’ll be able to apply for a grant towards recommended energy-saving improvements by accredited local tradespeople in September, when the scheme is set to launch.
As soon as one of these suppliers gives you a quote and the work is approved, you’ll receive your voucher.
Will everyone receive a £5,000 voucher?
In short, no. Not everyone will need – or want – to make improvements which will still cost them £2,500, even with the government grant.
Also, £2 billion is not nearly enough to give each homeowner £5,000.
There were 17.7 million owner-occupier households in 2019, according to the Office for National Statistics, meaning it would take £88.5 billion to provide all of them with vouchers.
However, considering most home improvements cost hundreds of pounds rather than thousands, the Green Homes Grant scheme could still provide much-needed measures to hundreds of thousands – or even millions – of people.