The government has confirmed that their Green Homes Grant Scheme will be live by the end of September. With this in mind, they have recently urged all tradespeople to sign up to the TrustMark scheme of accreditation before the scheme is launched. The £2bn scheme aims to stimulate a demand for green and energy efficiency improvements to properties across the UK.
In their latest update on the scheme the government has confirmed is should go live by the end of September and it will provide two thirds of the costs of home improvements for many properties, with grants of up to £5,000 available. Lower income households will also be able to claim a larger grant of up to £10,000 to improve their homes energy efficiency.
TrustMark or MCS Accreditation required for Scheme
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) believe the scheme will deliver improvements to as many as 600,000 households and may create as many 100,000 jobs in the green construction sector.
TrustMark and MSC accreditation is necessary for all tradespeople who want to get involved as the BEIS are hoping to avoid “cowboy builders” getting involved in the scheme. Speaking on behalf of the department, Business Secretary Alok Sharma confirmed: “Our TrustMark scheme will guarantee that building work is completed to a high standard by accredited tradespeople, ensuring consumers are fully protected."
Green Homes Grant Vouchers for Specific Works
The government has also fully clarified what works you can use the Green Home Grants vouchers for. Both homeowners and landlords can apply for the vouchers and they can be used for:
- Solid wall, underfloor, cavity wall or roof insulation improvements
- Air source or ground source heat pumps
- Solar thermal systems
- Up to two-thirds of the costs or double or triple glazing when replacing single glazing
- Energy efficient doors
- Hot water system thermostats and heat controls
In England there will be advice and support available on how to improve energy efficiency in the home through the Simple Energy Advice service. This service will provide advice on improvements for the individual property and whether there is funding for this. The government believes these upgrades could result in hundreds of pounds of savings in energy costs and will also cut carbon emissions in general.
The main concerns over the project remain with speculation over how quickly the promised funding of £2bn will be assigned. Industry professionals are still asking for clarification on a longer-term building energy efficiency programmes, which the government has yet to comment on. This £2bn grant system is unlikely to last more than a year.
Energy Efficient for Public and Social Property
The new grant system has been announced alongside a commitment to £1bn to make public buildings more energy efficient. There is also a further £50m set aside to retrofit social housing in energy efficient ways and this is only pilot so there will hopefully be more funds available too.
Energy efficient properties not only become more affordable in terms of energy costs, they also have a reduced impact on the environment in general and are a step towards a greener Britain