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Guides

Green Homes Grant

Green Homes Grant

A new Green Home Grant Scheme was announced last September by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak, for the purpose of installing energy-efficient improvements to a property.

The package of support has specific criteria to be met for both the property and owner to be eligible, however once qualified, there are likely to be both energy savings as well as the potential of an increase to the value of the property.

The scheme provides vouchers, covering up to two-thirds of the cost of specific home improvements where the government’s contribution can be up to £5,000.

In addition to this support, should a homeowner or someone within the household receive specific benefits, the maximum amount of grant could increase to a voucher of up to £10,000, with the government covering 100% of the cost. This additional support for low-income families is only available to homeowners.

Initially, the scheme had a tight deadline for the home improvements to be undertaken, however, in November 2020, the Chancellor made a further announcement extending the scheme for another year. Following this announcement, the deadline for redeeming the vouchers has been extended until 31st March 2022.

Who can benefit from the Green Homes Grant?

Both homeowners and residential landlords in England can benefit from the Green Home Grant Scheme.

The criteria that an applicant must meet for the scheme are as follows:

  • The applicant must own the property associated with the Green Homes Grant application. This includes homeowners of long leases, park homes or shared ownership.
  • The property must not be newly built without a previous owner.

Similarly, a landlord must own the property to be eligible for the scheme. The property would need to be let for residential purposes either within the private or social rented sector.

One additional factor for a landlord to consider is the current Energy Performance Certificate or EPC of the property. Current legislation for privately rented properties is that their EPC must have a minimum performance rating of an E grade. Should a property be at the lower end of the EPC grading scale, a landlord may wish to take full advantage of the Green Homes Grant Scheme to boost the EPC rating.

There are a handful of exemptions to the Green Home Grant Scheme should the applicant have already of claimed other grants or funding such as the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) or a Local Authority Delivery Scheme.

What improvements can be completed under the Green Home Grant Scheme?

There are strict rules regarding what home improvements are eligible under the Green Home Grant Scheme. The qualifying list of home improvements have been broken down into two; a primary list and a secondary list.

Vouchers must be used to pay for the installation of at least one primary home improvement for the works to be eligible for the scheme. The primary list includes:

  • Insulation.
  • Low carbon heating installations.

Whereas the secondary list covers a wider range of energy-efficient measurements including:

  • Double glazing (only when replacing single glazing).
  • Draughtproofing.
  • Heating controls or tank insulation.

Although any secondary works can commence prior to the primary works being completed, the grant funding will not be released until the primary works are completed.

Although the deadline for the end of the scheme has been extended, it is worth noting that if primary works are not completed before the deadline, the applicant will not receive the funding at all, including for any outstanding secondary works.

The Green Home Grant Scheme vouchers can cover the labour, materials and VAT of installing the home improvements.

Who can undertake the home improvements?

All works must be undertaken by an Accredited tradesperson that is TrustMark registered, who have also registered with the Green Home Grant Scheme as an installer.

To find a suitable Accredited tradesperson that is local to your property, use the government’s search facility, ‘Find an Installer’.

Home improvement works cannot be undertaken by the applicant, a member of the household of the applicant or an immediate family member.

What is the application process?

To submit an application for the Green Home Grant Scheme, there is a 4-step process, as follows:

  1. Firstly, an applicant is advised to check they are eligible for the scheme. There is an eligibility checker on the Simple Energy Advice website which can be useful but please remember not to proceed with any works until vouchers are issued.
  2.  The second step is to check which energy-efficient or low carbon heat home improvements would be most suitable for the property. The property owner may have some ideas of which home improvements they wish to make however it is highly recommended that further advice is sought so that all options are considered. Again, the Simple Energy Advice website is a great starting point for home improvement planning and advice. The website provides independent, Government endorsed advice for home energy efficiency including further details on a range of energy efficiency measures, hints and tips on ways to save money on energy bills and further details regarding the Green Homes Grant.
  3. Step three involves locating a local TrustMark registered installer to quote for the improvements to the property. As briefly mentioned above, the government have provided a search facility named ‘Find an Installer’ to search for local, accredited tradespeople. It is highly recommended that three quotes are obtained for each planned home improvement, to ensure value for money will be achieved.
  4. The final step involves applying for the voucher to pay for the works. If successful in the application, separate vouchers will be issued for each of the home improvements applied for. Once the vouchers have been received, the works can commence. Vouchers are issued to the named applicant and cannot be transferred to anyone else and will be valid for three months from the date of issue, or the end of the scheme, whichever is sooner.

Summary

The Green Home Grant Scheme can be utilised by both homeowners and residential landlords to make energy-efficient home improvements to a property at a significantly reduced cost.

There have already been a number of tweaks to the scheme however, it is not expected that further changes will be made and therefore, ensure that any applications are made in time for works to be completed by March 2022.

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