Cosy Homes Oxfordshire and the Green Homes Grant

In September 2020 the UK Government opened their Green Homes Grant scheme, offering homeowners and landlords vouchers which cover two-thirds of the cost of undertaking certain energy efficiency retrofit improvements, up to £5,000 (or £10,000 for low income households).

At Cosy Homes Oxfordshire we offer a whole house retrofit service. We take this whole house approach because we know that it’s the best way to lower the energy usage of homes and cut carbon emissions as much as possible – as well as avoiding any issues later down the line, which is often the case with individual retrofit measures. With this whole house focus, our service always begins with a home assessment and bespoke Whole House Plan, before we recommend the right measures for your home, in the right order.

The Green Homes Grant has very tight timescales, with work needing to be completed by 31 March 2021 in order to use the voucher scheme. It is also only available for certain types and combinations of retrofit measures (see FAQs at the bottom of this page).

Further, the Green Homes Grant requires you to use building contractors who are TrustMark or MCS certified, to ensure a high quality of work. There are currently constraints in the supply chain nationwide which means that sourcing building contractors who have these certifications is very difficult. This is due to the incredibly high demand that these trusted contractors are experiencing due to the launch of the Green Homes Grant – as well as existing shortages in the building sector which were not addressed before the Grant was launched.

As a result of all of these factors: our whole house focus, the incredibly tight timeline, and the nationwide shortage of trusted building contractors and suppliers, we cannot guarantee that Cosy Homes Oxfordshire can deliver retrofit work on your home in time for you to be able to secure the Green Homes Grant.

If you are already registered and are part of the way through the Cosy Homes Oxfordshire service or are just signing up to the service we will do the best we can within these significant constraints to ensure that you can take full advantage of the Green Homes Grant through using the network of contractors and suppliers we have built up over the last 18 months. But, this may not be possible depending on the measures you’re hoping to install, the availability of building professionals to deliver the work, and the timing of the project. If you are an existing customer and you have a question about this, please get in touch.

Making a single, individual improvement to your home’s energy performance will most likely cause you further issues down the line with the energy efficiency and comfort of your home. As outlined above, this is why we take a whole house approach to retrofit. So, we would not recommend that you use the Green Homes Grant to make a single improvement to your home without having had an expert’s opinion on your home as a whole, as you would through our home assessment and Whole House Plan service. However, if you do still wish to use the Green Homes Grant in this way, you should go directly to the Government’s Simple Energy Advice website to do so.

Finally, and most importantly, if you are generally interested in retrofitting your whole home in the right way – reducing the cost of your energy bills, cutting carbon emissions, and improving the comfort of your home – regardless of the Green Homes Grant, we’d still encourage you to register your home with Cosy Homes Oxfordshire to ensure that you do this retrofit in the most suitable way with support from our retrofit experts. Please be aware that due to high demand we currently have a waiting list for your home assessment and Whole House Plan, and it may be up to 12 weeks before you receive your Whole House Plan.

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Frequently asked questions

How do I apply for the Green Homes Grant?

Head to the Green Homes Grant campaign website to find out if you are eligible and to start your application: https://greenhomesgrant.campaign.gov.uk/

If you’re planning a whole house retrofit we’d recommend that you register your home with us to ensure your retrofit is done in the right way with support from a retrofit professional. We’ll do our best to ensure you can access the Green Homes Grant for your retrofit, but this may not be possible due to the constraints outlined above.

What measures does the Green Homes Grant cover?

There are two categories of improvements: primary and secondary measures. You are able to apply for a voucher to install one or more of the following ‘primary’ measures:

  • Solid wall insulation, cavity wall insulation, under-floor insulation or roof insulation (including loft, flat roof and room-in-roof) and park home insulation
  • Air source heat pump or ground source heat pump
  • Solar thermal heating

As long as you are installing one or more primary measures, you can also use your voucher for one or more improvement on the ‘secondary measures’ list.  The cost of the secondary measure cannot be greater than the cost of the primary measure:

  • Draught-proofing
  • Replacing single glazing with double/triple glazing or installing secondary glazing
  • Upgrading doors (installed before 2002) with energy efficient replacements
  • Hot water tank insulation
  • A range of heating controls – including hot water tank thermostats, thermostatic radiator valves and smart heating controls.

We know this list can be a little overwhelming, and it’s hard to know where to start. Every home is different, but through our home assessment and Whole House Plan service, we can help you to understand which of these measures makes sense for your home – as well as making sure the measures are designed and installed correctly to avoid issues later down the line.

If I want to use the Green Homes Grant to make stand alone improvements to my home, but I do not want a Whole House Plan, what is the best approach?

Cosy Homes Oxfordshire is not always the right route for everyone.

Our focus is on a whole house retrofit approach, assessing a house in its entirety with the aim of producing bespoke and comprehensive recommendations to make that home as energy efficient as possible, likely including several different measures and areas of improvement. These can be split up into several phases of work, and if you do choose to work with us we’ll ensure that the first phase of work is set up to maximise the potential of the Green Homes Grant (if existing constraints allow) – within the context of the overall plan. This approach ensures a home is made as energy efficient as possible. It also avoids issues later down the line where individual measures have been installed without considering how they work in the house as a whole. So, we’d always recommend coming to us for a home assessment and Whole House Plan initially, to ensure you have all the information you need. We can then help you to put this plan into place and remove all the hassle from the project.

However, if you’re looking to undertake smaller retrofit improvements to your home, it may be more cost-effective to manage the project and source contractors yourself. We can also only work with homeowners in Oxfordshire (or close by) currently. However, we want to stress that it’s always best to use the whole house approach to retrofit. If you do choose to undergo a retrofit yourself or install a single measure, make sure you bear in mind that by taking this approach – unless you are an expert in energy use in residential buildings yourself – you are likely compromising the best long-term energy solutions for your home.

You can find out more information and find local contractors near you to deliver the work by heading over to the Simple Energy Advice website

Who can I contact if I have an additional question?

If you have a question about the Green Homes Grant and how to access it through Cosy Homes Oxfordshire that we haven’t answered on this page, please get in touch with us by email to info@cosyhomesoxfordshire.org or by phone 0300 303 1269 (open Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm, closed bank holidays).

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