Thousands of homeowners can claim vouchers of up to £5,000 to spend on energy-saving home improvements, as part of the government's new grant scheme.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak first announced the £2 billion Green Homes Grant back in July, which forms part of a wider £3 billion green package in England to help the economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
What is the funding for?
The Green Homes Grant allows eligible households in England to receive vouchers worth up to £5,000 to spend on various green initiatives in the home, such as insulation, low-energy lighting and double glazing.
The government has said that around half of the fund will go to some of the country’s poorest households, who will reportedly be able to access vouchers worth up to £10,000.
Under the scheme, both homeowners and landlords can apply for a voucher from the government that will pay for at least two-thirds of the costs of hiring tradespeople to improve the energy efficiency of their home.
More than 600,000 homes have now been revealed to be eligible for the grant, which will help to support over 100,000 jobs in green construction.
As well as creating tens of thousands of new jobs, the scheme will help the UK to meet its 2050 target of achieving net zero carbon emissions.
The new green package also includes £1 billion of funding for public buildings, with the money to be used in places such as schools, hospitals, military bases and prisons, to make them greener and more energy efficient.
When will the scheme launch?
The new scheme launched in September and improvements, such as better insulation, could enable save families to save up to £600 per year on energy bills, according to Treasury estimates.
What can the vouchers be used for?
Under the grant, vouchers can be used to install one or more of the following:
- Solid wall, under-floor, cavity wall or roof insulation
- Air source or ground source heat pump
- Solar thermal
If households have used their vouchers for one of the above resources, they can also use their voucher for further energy saving measures, including one or more of the following:
- Double or triple glazing, or secondary glazing, when replacing single glazing
- Upgrading to energy efficient doors
- Hot water tank, appliance tank thermostats, or heating controls
Households can only receive funding for one of these secondary improvements, up to the same amount of funding they have been given for the primary measures.
Depending on your income, you will receive a voucher for £5,000, or have costs of up to £10,000 covered.
How do I get the vouchers?
Once you have decided which improvements to have installed, the government recommends getting at least three quotes from certified installers to ensure you are getting the best value for money. You must receive at least one quote from a Green Homes Grant registered installer to apply for a voucher, and you will need to provide a copy of this in your application.
You can use more than one installer to install different measures, but you only need to complete one application form. You will also need to provide a separate quote for each measure.
However, applying for a voucher does not guarantee that your application will be approved, so you should avoid starting any work until you have been successfully issued with a voucher.
You can apply for a voucher online via the government website.
What happens next?
Once your voucher has been issued, the installer can begin the work.
They may ask you for a deposit for the work, but this should not be larger than the amount they would normally charge and cannot be larger than your expected contribution to the cost of measures under the quote they have provided.
If you are applying under the low-income scheme, your installer cannot ask you for a deposit unless the cost of your measures is more than £10,000.
To redeem your voucher you’ll need to confirm that:
- the installation was completed satisfactorily before the voucher expiry date
- you have received the necessary documents from the installer
- you have paid your share of the costs to the installer (if applicable)
- you meet the relevant eligibility requirements
You will need to provide a dated copy of the invoice issued by the installer. When you redeem your voucher the grant will be paid on your behalf directly to the installer.
A version of this article originally appeared on our sister site, Sunderland Echo.