The Green Homes Grant is a government scheme launching in late September 2020. But what is the grant and how can it help you save money on energy-efficient home improvements?
What is the Green Homes Grant?
The Green Homes Grant is a government scheme that will help homeowners and landlords to fund the cost of energy efficiency improvements in England. It’s thought that these energy efficient and low-carbon heating improvements could help households save up to £600 a year on energy bills.
The scheme was announced in the 2020 Summer Statement, as part of the plan for helping the economy to recover after the coronavirus pandemic. The scheme aims to make over 600,000 homes more energy efficient and will support over 100,000 jobs in green construction.
The Green Homes Grant will provide vouchers to fund all or part of the cost of installing energy efficient measures for homes in England. Applications for vouchers are set to open in late September 2020, and home improvements under the scheme must be completed by 31 March 2021.
There are two levels of funding available under the Green Homes Grant:
General scheme: Covers two thirds of the cost of home improvements, up to a maximum of £5,000
Low-income scheme: Covers the full cost of the cost of home improvements, up to a maximum of £10,000
The amount of funding you are eligible for will depend on your income and whether you receive certain benefits.
Am I eligible for the Green Homes Grant?
If you are a homeowner or landlord in England, you could be eligible for some level of funding under the Green Homes Grant for installing certain energy efficiency measures in your property.
To qualify for the voucher scheme, you must either:
- Own your own home (including park homes, long-leasehold properties and shared ownership)
- Be a private or social landlord
Only homes in England are eligible, and the scheme does not cover new-build properties that have not been previously occupied. You’ll also be ineligible if you’ve already received a grant under the Local Authority Delivery Scheme.
For the ‘low income’ scheme of up to £10,000, only owner-occupied and park homes are eligible (this part of the scheme is not open to landlords). You will qualify for this extra support if you receive at least one of the following benefits:
- Income based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)
- Income based Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)
- Income Support (IS)
- Pension Guarantee Credit
- Working Tax Credit (WTC)
- Child Tax Credits (CTC)
- Universal Credit (UC)
- Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- Attendance Allowance
- Carer’s Allowance
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
- Contribution based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)
- Contribution based Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)
- Housing Benefit
What types of home improvements are covered?
The energy efficiency measures covered under the scheme will be split into two categories: primary and secondary measures.
To qualify for a voucher you’ll need to install at least one primary measure. This can include insulation and/or low carbon heating:
Insulation: Solid wall, cavity wall, under-floor, loft, flat room, room in roof or park home.
Low carbon heat: Air source heat pump, ground source heat pump or solar thermal.
If you already have any of these measures in your home, you can use the voucher to top up or improve them, but not replace them.
As long as you use the scheme to install one of the primary measures above, you can also claim vouchers up to the same value to install a secondary measure. These include:
Windows and doors: Replace single glazing with double or triple glazing, secondary glazing (in addition to single glazing) or upgrade to energy efficient doors (where replacing doors installed before 2002).
Heating controls and installation: Appliance thermostats, hot water tank thermostats, hot water tank insulation, smart heating controls, zone controls, delayed start thermostat, thermostatic radiator valves.
How can I apply for the Green Homes Grant?
Applications for the vouchers open at the end of September 2020. In the meantime, you can use the Simple Energy Advice website to get more information and a personalised plan for improving the energy efficiency of your home.
Before you apply, you can use the site to:
- Check if you’re eligible for the scheme
- Check what improvements are suitable for your property
- Get a cost estimate for the improvements
- Find accredited tradespeople to contact for quotes
When the scheme opens, you’ll be able to choose from a range of approved tradespeople to provide quotes to carry out the work. Once you’ve agreed the works with your chosen tradesperson, you’ll be able to apply for your Green Homes Grant voucher from the end of September.