✔ You could save £5,000 on energy-saving home improvements
✔ More than 600,000 households are set to benefit
✔ The vouchers are only available in England
The Green Homes Grant could save you thousands of pounds in the short term, and hundreds of pounds every year moving forwards.
They could also help you fight climate change, all while supporting tradespeople during an economic downturn.
It’s a win-win for everyone – so let’s get into the details, and see how you can benefit.
What’s on this page?
What is the Green Homes Grant?
The Green Homes Grant is a £2bn government initiative that could cover two-thirds of the cost of home improvements designed to cut your energy bills and carbon emissions, up to £5,000.
Households which receive income-based or disability benefits can get 100% of their home improvement costs covered, up to £10,000.
£500 million of the fund has been earmarked for these less well-off homes. This means that at least 50,000 of these households will benefit.
Overall, the government has said it intends to hand out vouchers to help more than 600,000 homeowners pay for these eco-friendly installations.
Considering England has more than 22 million households, that means between 2-3% will receive the grant.
How much can you save?
If you receive income-based or disability benefits, the government will pay for 100% of your green home improvements, up to £10,000.
Those of you who don’t get these benefits can attain a voucher for two-thirds of the cost of your eco-friendly installations, capped at £5,000.
This means you can arrange for home improvements worth up to £7,500, and still have two-thirds of your spending subsidised.
If your installations cost more than £7,500, you can still get a £5,000 voucher – you’ll just pay more yourself.
The table below shows roughly how it’ll pan out for you, depending on which home improvement you choose.
Which home improvements can you get?
You can apply for a Green Homes Grant to get one of the following primary measures:
- Insulation: Solid wall, cavity wall, under-floor, loft, park home, or roof insulation
- Ground or air source heat pump
- Solar thermal panels
You can even get another one, but only if it’s from this list of secondary measures:
- Windows: Double glazing, triple glazing, or secondary glazing (all of these only qualify if they’re replacing single glazing)
- Energy efficient doors
- Heat controls: Appliance thermostats, hot water tank thermostats, hot water tank insulation, smart heating controls, zone controls, delayed start thermostats, and thermostatic radiator valves
- Draught proofing
One sneaky catch that the government currently has hiding in a hyperlinked PDF under “Notes to editors” is that your secondary measure can’t be subsidised at a higher amount than your primary measure.
So for instance, if the government subsidises £247 of your cavity wall insulation costs, and you’d like to get two double-glazed windows at £1,280, you’ll only qualify for another £247 subsidy.
This works out as a 19% subsidy, compared to the 67% you would expect.
How do you apply?
At some point in August (the government has simply said it will happen “later this month”), the government-endorsed Simple Energy Advice (SEA) service will start advising homeowners in England.
SEA will be able to tell you which improvements are best for your home, and help you to apply.
“The Green Homes Grant is a significant investment by the government in energy efficiency, which will provide long term benefits to householders and the environment by cutting fuel bills and reducing carbon emissions.
“It will particularly help low-income households access much-needed funds to make their homes warmer.
“I would really encourage homeowners to apply for the scheme.”
– Energy Saving Trust CEO Mike Thornton
You’ll then be provided with a list of local tradespeople who are TrustMark-approved, and/or accredited by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme.
Contact one of them and arrange a price and date for the work to take place, bearing in mind that the government will only start issuing vouchers at the end of September.
It therefore may be best to book your chosen tradesperson for mid to late October.
You should apply for a Green Homes Grant voucher, unless you have every energy-saving measure in the lists above. It can benefit your wallet, the environment, and the economy.
However, despite this generous subsidy, it should be noted that the UK has pledged just £3bn towards its plan for a green economic recovery from COVID-19.
While this is obviously better than nothing, it pales in comparison with similar countries.
For instance, France has promised to spend £18bn to tackle climate change as part of its recovery, including investing in electric bikes and renovating old buildings.
And Germany plans to invest £35bn in areas like renewable energy and electric vehicles.
The UK government could be doing so much more to help the climate – but you should obviously still take advantage of what they have offered.