April 2021: The government has announced that the Green Homes Grant will be scrapped. What could have been a fantastic scheme to stimulate jobs for tradespeople and offer homeowners the chance to improve the efficiency of their homes turned into a scheme where homeowners couldn’t find tradespeople or get their vouchers fast enough. We’re disappointed with how the programme was run, but we will keep our home improvement companies informed of any future government schemes.
The Green Homes Grant, announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak, is set to go live at the end of September, in a drive to support over 100,000 jobs.
Over 600,000 homeowners in England will be able to get a voucher worth up to £5,000 (or £10,000 for low-income households) for a range of home improvements to help them reduce their energy bills and lower their carbon footprint.
But how do you make sure your business is ready to benefit from the scheme, and which energy saving measures are included?
What does the Green Homes Grant cover?
After much debate in the industry about what energy-saving measures would be included, the Government announced the improvements that homeowners can use their vouchers for on 4th August 2020.
Households need to install one of the following primary measures to qualify for the funding:
- Insulation: solid wall, cavity wall, under-floor, loft, flat roof, room in roof or park homes are all covered
- Low carbon heat: air source heat pumps, ground source heat pumps or solar thermal panels
Then, as long as homeowners have at least one primary measure in the package, they can install secondary measures.
They will only be subsidised up to the amount of the subsidy provided for the primary measures – for example, if a household is given £2,500 worth of vouchers for primary measures, they can only receive a maximum of £2,500 for secondary measures.
These secondary measures are:
- Draught proofing
- Windows and doors: double- or triple glazing only where replacing single glazing, secondary glazing (in addition to single glazing) or upgrading to energy efficient doors (replacing doors installed before 2002)
- Heating controls and insulation: appliance thermostats, hot water tank thermostats, hot water tank insulation, smart heating controls, zone controls, delayed start thermostats or thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs)
Boiler companies and window installers left out
Unfortunately, despite millions of old boilers still in use in the UK, new gas boilers haven’t been included in the Green Homes Grant. Speaking to HIP Magazine, Director of Technical Communication and Product Management at Worcester Bosch Martyn Bridges, commented:
“Although we support any scheme that actively tries to improve the efficiency of UK homes, the fact that upgrading boilers is not included in this grant is an oversight.
“There are still anything up to 6 million non-condensing boilers in operation so upgrading to a high efficiency condensing boiler would have made a significant improvement to these homes.”
Window companies were also dealt a blow as it became clear that homeowners can only take advantage of the scheme for double glazing if they have single glazing in place currently and also get a primary measure installed.
We want to make sure that your business can maximise your chances of benefiting from the Green Homes Grant, so we’ve put together a list of FAQs so you’re ready to go when the scheme begins at the end of September.
What do I have to do to be able to provide my services through the Green Homes Grant?
The Government is urging tradespeople to sign up for TrustMark accreditation so they can provide their services for homeowners with vouchers.
You won’t be able to install energy saving measures on behalf of the Government without TrustMark accreditation for insulation, windows, heating controls or draught proofing. If you’re a renewable energy installer, you need to make sure you’re registered with the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS).
How can Quotatis help me get work through the Green Homes Grant?
We’re expecting to get lots of homeowners coming to us asking for work done through the Green Homes Grant scheme. As long as you register with TrustMark or MCS, we can pass you the details of customers that have vouchers for insulation, low-carbon energy or any of the secondary measures.
You may find that customers ask for a quote for Green Homes Grant-approved services before they have actually applied for a voucher. Don’t discount these customers – if you get in touch with them and build a rapport with them before they apply, they’re more likely to choose you for the work once their vouchers have been issued.
How do I let you know that I’m TrustMark accredited or MSC-registered?
It’s really easy to let us know that you’re TrustMark accredited or MSC-registered. Simply login to your Quotatis SmartApp, select ‘Account’ at the bottom, the tap ‘Upload documents’.
From there, select ‘Trades & certifications’ from the top menu and tap the ‘+’ button to add the document.
Select TrustMark or MCS from the drop-down menu, tell us the expiry date then add your membership number, a membership URL or a photo of your documents. It’s as simple as that.
As soon as our customer services team has approved your documents, we’ll send you the details of any customers that come to us with a Green Homes Grant voucher.
Can my customer get a voucher for work I’ve already completed for them?
No – vouchers can’t be offered retrospectively. Customers will only be able to apply for a voucher once the scheme begins, and will be subject to a validation and audit process.
When can members of the public start applying?
Later this month, homeowners across England will be able to access advice and support on improving the energy efficiency of their homes from the Simple Energy Advice Service. They will suggest appropriate home improvements they may be able to apply for vouchers to help fund.
The Simple Energy Advice Service will then offer households a list of approved TrustMark accredited and MSC-registered businesses in their local area to carry out the work.
Once the works are agreed, vouchers will start to be issued from the end of September so work can commence.
When does the scheme end?
The Green Homes Grant scheme is due to end in March 2021. It will run for 6 months, from the end of September 2020 to March 2021.
We’ll update this post as soon as we get any more information about the scheme so you’re always kept in the loop. But can you think of anything we’ve not covered? Get in touch with us on Facebook or Twitter @QuotatisPro and let us know.