The Green Homes Grant Announcement – and why the UK needs a nationwide, deep retrofit scheme

Update: published 30 September 2020

Today the Green Homes Grant officially launched. If you are interested in using the Green Homes Grant to retrofit your home then you can now head to the campaign website to find out if you are eligible and to start the application process: https://greenhomesgrant.campaign.gov.uk/

You can find out more about what measures the Green Homes Grant covers, and how Cosy Homes Oxfordshire could support you to maximise the value of the Green Homes Grant to create cost and carbon savings for your home, on our Green Homes Grant webpage.

Update: published 4 August 2020

Today the UK Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy released an update on the Green Homes Grants. The key information from the update is:

  • Quality assurance will be at the heart of the scheme, with all tradespeople involved required to be accredited through TrustMark or Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS)
  • Retrofit measures that the Green Homes Grant will cover include insulation (wall, floor, and roof), installation of low-carbon heating measures including heat pumps and solar thermal, replacing single glazed windows with double or triple glazed, upgrading to energy efficient doors, and installing thermostats or heating controls.
  • Advice and support will be available from the Simple Energy Advice (SEA) service. SEA will suggest appropriate home improvements that homeowners may be able to apply for support in funding, as well as local certified tradespeople in the area who can deliver these improvements.
  • Vouchers will start to be issues at the end of September, and only once work has been agreed.
  • The standard contribution will be up to two-thirds of the cost of improvements, up to a maximum of £5000. Those on low income who are owner occupiers and in receipt of income-based or disability benefits, will be able to get 100% subsidy up to a maximum of £10,000.
  • £500 million of the £2 billion will be administered by local authorities through the Green Home Grant Local Authority Delivery Scheme, wherein local authorities will be able to bid for funding to support low-income households in their area – so even if you don’t need retrofit work done to your home yourself, you could still make a difference in your area by engaging with your local authority.

We’re in the process of confirming how Cosy Homes Oxfordshire can support homeowners in Oxfordshire with making the most of the Green Homes Grant proposal. To be the first to know once we have any updates, make sure you’re signed up to receive our newsletter.

Original post: published 9 July 2020

Earlier this week the UK government’s economic and finance ministry announced that a £2 billion fund providing grants for home energy improvements work would be set up by September 2020. The full details of this scheme are yet to be released, but we’ll update this post as information develops.

At Cosy Homes Oxfordshire we welcome the Treasury’s announcement, but we hope it will be the start of be a concerted effort to improve the energy efficiency of the entire UK housing stock, because it’s clear that we need to go further than this scheme suggests.

The UK has climate change targets of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050. If we are serious about meeting those targets then we cannot ignore the impact of our existing housing stock, much of which is old and inefficient. That means that we need to retrofit millions of homes, and to do this we need a nationwide scheme backed by the government.

The New Economics Foundation recently released a report and proposal for what such a nationwide retrofit scheme could look like. Their research found that a four-year government led programme where 9 million UK homes received whole-house retrofit measures was entirely feasible, and would result in savings of around 15% of our total domestic energy demand. That represents carbon emissions savings of approximately 19.23MtCO2/​year by 2023/​24, or 21% of 2019 emissions from the UK’s homes.

“This detailed analysis of the country’s housing stock shows in detail the scale of the task needed to move our housing stock toward net zero carbon emissions. We need local activism, local people willing to do the work itself and a compelling nationwide plan that brings everyone together. Cosy Homes Oxfordshire is a vanguard of this approach and we can show the rest of the county how to do it.”

Russell Smith, RetrofitWorks Director

This proposed programme would also create an average of 294,527 new jobs every year between 2020 and 2023/4 to deliver the work – and with the need to provide economic stimulus following Covid-19, that’s more important than ever.

The NEF report makes it clear that, though it may be a good start, the UK government needs to go further with their proposed retrofit scheme and create a programme such as the model NEF are proposing.

What do the Green Homes Grants mean for homeowners?

As we mentioned previously, we know very little about the Green Homes Grant so far. However, we do know that if you implement home retrofit improvements (replacing your boiler, triple glazed windows, increased insulation and more) then you could get a voucher of up to £5,000 to help you pay for it – so if you’ve been thinking about doing improvements to your home, you may as well make the most of it.

We’ll be sharing updates as we get them on this blog, as well as to our newsletter subscribers – so make sure you’ve signed up for updates to be the first to know when we have more news.

Get started with your home retrofit today

If you’re a homeowner hoping to make use of the Green Homes Grant once it is introduced in September 2020, then why not get started today to be front of the queue?

“Cosy Homes Oxfordshire could help you get ahead of the game. Register your home with us today and we can help you identify the areas of your home that need improvement through our Whole House Plan service.”

Tim Lunel, Cosy Homes Oxfordshire Project Manager

The information so far suggests that homeowners will be asked to submit online applications for recommended energy efficiency measures – and a voucher will not be issued until a contractor has issued a quote and work has been approved.

Cosy Homes Oxfordshire could help you get ahead of the game. Register your home with us today and we can help you identify the areas of your home that need improvement through our Whole House Plan service. Plus, we can source quotes from our trusted contractors for you, so once the scheme opens in September you’ll have everything you need to get started straight away.