Thousands of homeowners now have an extra year to claim vouchers of up to £5,000 to spend on energy-saving home improvements.
The government has extended its Green Homes Grant until 2022 as part of its ambitious plans to create a “green industrial revolution”.
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.
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What is the grant 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.
Both homeowners and landlords can apply for a voucher that will pay for at least two-thirds of the costs of hiring tradespeople to improve the energy efficiency of their home.
Around half of the £2 billion funding will go to some of the country’s poorest households, who will be able to access vouchers covering 100 per cent of the improvement costs, worth up to a maximum of £10,000.
The scheme first launched in September and could help families save up to £600 per year on energy bills, according to Treasury estimates.
There are 600,000 vouchers available through the scheme, which was initially due to end on 31 March 2021, but will now continue until 31 March 2022.
What can the vouchers be used for?
Vouchers can be used to install one or more of the following primary measures:
- Solid wall, under-floor, cavity wall or roof insulation
- Air source or ground source heat pump
- Solar thermal
- Biomass boilers
Vouchers can also be used for secondary 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, when replacing single glazed or solid doors installed before 2002
- Hot water tank, appliance tank thermostats, or heating controls
The voucher does not cover the cost of a new extension or conversion, insulating a conservatory which has no fixed heating, or installing a new fossil fuel boiler such as gas, oil or Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).
Households can only receive funding for one of these secondary improvements, up to the same amount 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 apply?
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, 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.