CLA Housing Adviser Hermione Warmington provides details on the update to the Green Homes Grant Scheme.
On 6 August, I wrote a blog setting out what we knew so far on the recently announced Green Homes Grant. The Government has now published more information and this blog will look at what you need to do in order to be ready to apply for a voucher on 30 September.
What is the Green Homes Grant?
It is a grant scheme which will fund up to two-thirds of the cost of home improvements of over 600,000 homes. Landlords and homeowners can apply for a voucher up to a maximum contribution of £5,000 (or £10,000 for low income households) from 30 September. Before you are able to apply for a voucher, there are a number of hoops you need to jump through.
What improvements are included in the grant?
Vouchers must be used to install at least one primary measure before being eligible to cover the cost of a secondary measure. The subsidy for secondary measures is capped at the value of the subsidy for primary measures.
The primary measures are: Solid wall, cavity wall, under-floor, loft, flat rood, room-in-roof and park home insulation and air source and ground source heat pumps, solar thermal and biomass pellet boilers low carbon heating where the home is suitably insulated.
The secondary measures are: draught proofing, double/triple glazing, secondary glazing, energy efficient doors, hot water tank thermostats and insulation and heating controls.
What do I need to do before I can apply for a voucher?
You need to go to the Simple Energy Advice website and complete their online questionnaire which can be found here. This will:
- Check if you are eligible for a voucher;
- Check what improvements may be suitable for your home;
- Choose which improvements you would like and see an estimate for how much they may cost; and
- Find accredited tradespeople to get quotes from to carry out the work.
Once you have gone through the four steps, the software will generate a plan for you which you need to download. The next step is to contact accredited tradespeople and get quotes for each selected measure.
Who are ‘accredited tradespeople’?
Only tradespeople who are MCS registered or TrustMark approved qualify to access the grant. Your plan from the Simple Energy Service will list three nearby registered tradespeople for each measure but a list of all installers can also be found here.
How many quotes do I need to obtain?
The Government suggest getting three quotes for each measure to ensure you are getting the best value for money. It is not clear whether three quotes are required to then apply for a
voucher, but given most Government grants require multiple quotes, I strongly advise obtaining three quotes.
You must keep a record of these quotes as you will need them for the voucher application process.
Does my property need an EPC?
You do not need an EPC to use the online tool but it will make the process quicker if the property has an EPC registered, as the software extracts information from the certificate.
Can I claim more than one voucher?
You can only claim one voucher per property and there has not been any information on limiting the number of vouchers claimed per landlord. I would advise going through all of the steps for all the properties which you would like to claim a voucher for to give you the best chance of success come 30 September.
If my voucher application is accepted, how long do I have to use the voucher?
You must make sure the work is scheduled to be completed, and the voucher redeemed subject to its terms and conditions, by 31 March 2021.
The tradesperson will claim the value of the voucher directly from the Government and you will pay the remaining balance to the tradesperson.
Please keep an eye out on CLA blogs and contact me or your Regional Office if you have any further questions.