Some details of the Green Homes Grants scheme are still being defined by the government. In the meantime, here is the latest update following a recent briefing.
Quality assurance is at the heart of the Green Homes Grants scheme and the government has now clarified that tradespeople who want to install under the scheme must be TrustMark accredited, and also, MCS certified for heat pump and solar thermal installations.
HIES (The Home Insulation and Energy Systems Quality Assured Contractors Scheme), operated by QASSS, is a Trustmark scheme operator so will be able to support the Trustmark accreditation process.
The accreditation that tradespeople must acquire before installing any work under the scheme will give homeowners peace of mind that their installer is approved and accredited thus ensuring high standards and thorough consumer protection.
Why is the scheme so important?
This scheme will urge consumers to engage with TrustMark Registered Businesses to have energy efficient works carried out in and around their homes, bringing increased jobs and revenue to businesses.
Measures covered by the scheme
Homeowners and social and private landlords will need to use their voucher to install at least one of the following, which they will receive before works commence:
First line measures:
- Solid wall, under-floor, cavity wall, loft, flat roof, room in roof or park home insulation; or
- Air source or ground source heat pump or solar thermal (where the home is suitably insulated).
Households can also use their voucher for further energy saving measures, up to the value of 50% of the voucher (and capped at the amount of the government contribution to the primary measures).
These include one or more of the following:
Second line measures:
- Draught proofing: draught-proofing your home (for example around windows and doors) can block up unwanted gaps that let cold air in and warm air out.
- Windows and doors: double/triple glazing (where replacing single glazing), secondary glazing (in addition to single glazing), energy efficient replacement doors.
- Heating controls and insulation: appliance thermostats, hot water tank thermostats, hot water tank insulation, smart heating controls, zone controls, delayed start thermostat, thermostatic radiator valves.
To note, secondary measures cannot be undertaken in isolation but can be installed alongside a primary measure.
More about the grants
The government are funding up energy efficient home improvement grants for over 600,000, supporting over 100,000 jobs in the sector
- Homeowners and landlords can apply for a voucher that funds up to two-thirds of the cost of hiring tradespeople to upgrade the energy performance of their homes – up to a maximum contribution of £5,000. It could help save families up to £600 a year on their energy bills.
- Low income and vulnerable households, including park homeowners and those on certain benefits, will be eligible for a grant covering up to 100% of the cost, up to £10,000.
- The scheme opens later this month and the closing date is 31st March 2021. We are awaiting final confirmation, but it is expected that homeowners and landlords could have up to 6 months thereafter to complete the work and claim the voucher.
- Once the works are agreed, vouchers will start to be issued from the end of September so work can commence.
The Simple Energy Advice (SEA) service will be the main source of information for consumers.
By the end of the month, homeowners will be able to access advice and support on how best to improve the energy efficiency of their homes and the website will have the searchable list of accredited tradespeople who are authorised to carry out works under the scheme.