Green Homes Grant: make energy improvements
The Government Green Homes Grant Scheme is going to shortly start paying out vouchers.
As a homeowner, it is worth looking into. As a Trustmark tradesperson it is worth noting the guidance should you get contacted for a quote.
How much you can get
Vouchers will cover two-thirds of the cost of eligible improvements, up to a maximum Government contribution of £5,000.
If you, or someone in your household, receive certain benefits you may be eligible for a voucher covering 100% of the cost of the improvements. The maximum value of the voucher is £10,000. Check if you’re eligible for the low income support scheme.
Landlords are not eligible for low income support.
You may be eligible if you live in England and:
- you own your own home (including long-leaseholders and shared ownership)
- you own your own park home on a residential site (including Gypsy and Traveller sites)
- you’re a residential landlord in the private or social rented sector (including local authorities and housing associations)
You cannot get the Green Homes Grant for newly built homes which have not been previously occupied.
If you’re claiming other grants or funding
Energy Company Obligation (ECO)
You cannot claim a Green Homes Grant voucher towards the cost of a measure which has also had funding under the Energy Company Obligation (ECO). You can claim both ECO and Green Homes Grant as long as they are each for different measures – for example loft insulation and cavity wall insulation.
Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)
You can claim both the Domestic RHI and the Green Home Grant for a renewable heat installation. You must claim the Green Home Grant voucher first and then notify Ofgem that you have used it when you apply for accreditation to the Domestic RHI. The Green Homes Grant will then be deducted from your Domestic RHI payments.
If you’re only claiming the Green Homes Grant voucher for energy efficiency measures you do not need to notify Ofgem.
Local Authority Delivery Scheme
You cannot apply for the scheme if you have already received a grant from your local authority as part of the Local Authority Delivery Scheme.
If you’re a landlord
The Green Homes Grant counts towards the total de minimis state aid you’re allowed to get over a 3 year period. You must check that you will not exceed the de minimis state aid threshold of €200,000.
Energy efficiency standard
Most private rented properties must have a minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E under the minimum energy efficiency standard.
If you’re applying for a voucher for a private rented sector property, you need to either provide:
- proof that you have met this standard
- proof of an exemption
If you’re a tenant
Although you cannot apply for vouchers, you can use the Simple Energy Advice (SEA) website to check what energy efficiency or low carbon heating improvements may be best suited for your home. You can take the questionnaire and build an energy efficiency plan to send to your landlord.
What the voucher can be used for
We recommend that you seek advice on how best to improve the energy efficiency and heating in your home.
You can use the Simple Energy Advice (SEA) website to check what energy efficiency or low carbon heating improvements may be best suited to your home.
You can also seek advice from your property’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) or from a retrofit assessor. You cannot claim for the cost of any advice as part of your grant.
The available measures are split into ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ measures.
The voucher must be used to install at least 1 primary measure.
The following insulation measures are covered by the voucher:
- solid wall insulation (internal or external)
- cavity wall insulation
- under-floor insulation (solid floor, suspended floor)
- loft insulation
- flat roof insulation
- pitched roof insulation
- room in roof insulation
- insulating a park home
Low carbon heat
The following low carbon heating measures are covered by the voucher:
- air source heat pump
- ground source heat pump
- solar thermal (liquid filled flat plate or evacuated tube collector)
- biomass boiler
- hybrid heat pump
If you install at least 1 primary measure, your voucher can be used to help cover the cost of any of the following secondary measures.
The amount you get towards the cost of secondary measures cannot exceed the amount you get for primary measures.
You will only be able to redeem vouchers for secondary measures once you have installed a primary measure and redeemed the vouchers for that measure.
Windows and doors
The following measures are covered by the voucher:
- draught proofing
- double or triple glazing (where replacing single glazing)
- secondary glazing (in addition to single glazing)
- energy efficient replacement doors (replacing single glazed or solid doors installed before 2002)
Heating controls and insulation
The following measures are covered by the voucher:
- hot water tank thermostat
- hot water tank insulation
- heating controls (such as, appliance thermostats, smart heating controls, zone controls, intelligent delayed start thermostat, thermostatic radiator valves)
What the voucher covers
Costs that are covered by the voucher include:
Additional works will be covered by the voucher if they are necessary for the installation of measures..
Work cannot be completed by yourself, a member of your household or your immediate family.
All work covered by the voucher must be completed by a TrustMark-registered installer who is also registered for the scheme. Your installer will also need to meet PAS and MCS standards when installing your measures.
How to apply
- Check your eligibility
- Check what energy efficiency or low carbon heat improvements may be suitable for your home
- Find certified installers in your area that are able to carry out the work
- Apply for the voucher
The Green Homes Grant scheme will never include official representatives coming to your property uninvited or cold calling on the phone to encourage you to join the scheme.
Getting a quote
Once you have decided which improvements to have installed, the Government recommend getting at least 3 quotes from certified installers to make sure you are getting the best value for money.
You only need 1 quote from a Green Homes Grant registered installer in order to apply for a voucher.
You will need to provide a copy of the quote when you apply. If the quote seems unreasonably high, the scheme administrator may request that you provide another quote.
You can use more than one installer to install different measures. You only need to complete one application form, but you will need to provide a separate quote for each measure.
Applying for a voucher does not guarantee that your application will be approved. You should not commit to start any work until you have been successfully issued with a voucher.
Getting the voucher
The Government will start to issue vouchers to customers from early November 2020.
You will receive a separate voucher for each of the measures that you have applied to install.
Each voucher is only valid for the measure and property you have applied for. The voucher is only for use by the named applicant and cannot be transferred to another person.
You can only begin work once your voucher has been issued. Any work that was started before that date cannot be claimed.
Vouchers will be valid for 3 months from the date they are issued or until 31 March 2021 (whichever is earlier). Vouchers must be redeemed before the validity period ends. You can request a voucher extension at any time before your voucher has expired, unless the scheme has been closed.
Getting the work done
Once your voucher has been issued, the installer can begin the work.
Your installer may ask you for a deposit. This should not be larger than the amount they would normally charge. It cannot be larger than your expected contribution to the cost of measures under the quote they have provided you.
If you’re 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.
Redeeming the voucher
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.
Help and support
You can contact the Green Homes Grant team.