Helping UK homeowners save money on their heating

Green Homes Grants for Insulation

In July 2020, the government announced the Green Homes Grant scheme which is scheduled to launch in September 2020. The scheme is intended to help UK homeowners and landlords to make their homes more energy efficient, but how will it work? Here is what we know about the Green Homes Grant so far.

NOTE: This page was published 7th August 2020. We will update this page when more information is available.

What is the Green Homes Grant?

The Green Homes Grant will be a voucher to cover most (if not all) of the cost of specific home improvements which make a property more efficient through installing insulation or certain renewable heating systems. In total, the government has set aside £2 billion in funding for the scheme, but the vouchers will be up to £5,000 in value (with up to £10,000 for the lowest-income households).

Why has the government introduced the Green Homes Grant?

Green Homes Grants are part of a wider £3 billion government strategy to reduce carbon emissions. The UK is aiming to reach net-zero carbon emission by 2050. Approximately 20% of the UK’s carbon emissions come from our heating systems and, currently, UK properties are some of the most poorly insulated in Europe.

Poorly insulated homes which allow heat to leak through walls, roofs, windows, etc. are harder to heat. This means we have to turn our heating systems on more often and for longer periods of time in order to reach a comfortable temperature. The more we use our heating, which is usually fired by fossil fuels like natural gas, oil and LPG, the more fossil fuels we are burning and the higher our carbon emissions.

We need to make our homes more energy efficient by reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and improving the quality of insulation, but the costs involved in making the necessary changes mean that paying for the necessary changes will be unrealistic for most UK homeowners.

The Green Homes Grant is intended to address this problem by covering around two-thirds of the upfront cost of home improvements. The government has claimed that the Green Homes Grant could help families to save around £200 per year on energy bills.

What home improvements does the Green Homes Grant cover?

The scheme has two categories of home improvements: primary and secondary. Homeowners are only eligible for a secondary grant if they are also receiving a primary grant.

Primary Green Homes Grants grants will be available to homeowners installing:

  • Insulation: Solid wall, cavity wall, under-floor, loft, flat roof, room in roof, park home.
  • Low carbon heat: Air source heat pump, ground source heat pump, solar thermal
  • In some cases, ‘top up’ improvements will be allowed such as additional loft insulation up to the recommended level or solid wall insulation for other walls where a wall has been previously insulated, but replacements are not included. For low-carbon heating systems to be installed, the property will need to have adequate insulation(e.g. wall and loft). If this insulation is not already in situ, it can installed as part of a package.

    Secondary Green Homes Grants are available (as long as primary work is also being completed)for:

  • Draught proofing
  • Windows and doors: Double/triple glazing (where replacing single glazing), secondary glazing (in addition to single glazing), upgrading to energy efficient doors (where replacing doors installed prior to 2002).
  • 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
  • If you are applying for a primary and a secondary grant, the value of the secondary grant cannot be higher than the primary grant.

    How much are Green Homes Grants for insulation worth?

    A Green Homes Grant will cover at least two-thirds of the cost of insulating your home, up to £5,000.

    The government has also said that up to £10,000 vouchers will be available for the poorest households which should mean that those homeowners will not have to pay anything.

    How will improved insulation benefit homeowners?

    There are several ways of insulating a home to improve its energy efficiency. The majority of the heat lost from a home is through the walls and loft, but around 35% is lost through the roof and another 10% through the windows. By installing insulation in a loft, you can reduce the amount of heat lost from that area by 75%.

    Here are the main benefits of improving your home’s insulation.

    Improved comfort – all year round

    It is common knowledge that insulation will help to keep your home warm during the winter, but it will also keep your home cooler during the summer.

    Cheaper energy bills

    A poorly insulated home could be losing as much as 30% of its energy, which means that almost a third of the money you spend heating your home is wasted.

    Quieter home

    Insulation can help to reduce the noise in your home as it will absorb some of the sounds bouncing off the walls and floors.

    Reduced carbon footprint

    We are all concerned about the impact we are having on our environment and the future of our planet. By using your heating less, you will be reducing your carbon emissions significantly.

    Increased property value

    Insulation delivers so many benefits that it is a real selling point for prospective home buyers. If you are considering selling your home in the next few years, insulation could bump up the price of your home.

    Who can apply for a Green Homes Grant for insulation?

    Homeowners and landlords will be able to apply for a Green Homes Grant. The government estimates that this will mean 600,000 homes in the UK will benefit from a grant.

    Grants of up to £5,000

    For the general Green Homes Grants scheme (funding up to £5,000) the following properties are eligible:

  • All owner-occupied homes (including long-leaseholders, shared ownership)
  • Landlords of private rented sector domestic properties
  • Landlords of social sector domestic properties (including LA owned homes)
  • Park home owners (for residential sites including Gypsy and Traveller sites)
  • New-build properties (domestic and non-domestic) are not eligible.

    Grants of up to £10,000

    The low-income scheme offers grants of up to £10,000 to only owner-occupied properties and park homes. Households receiving income-based or disability benefits are eligible for a fully funded package of efficiency measures.

    To qualify for the Green Home Grants low-income scheme you must be in receipt of at least one of the following benefits:

  • Income based Jobseekers allowance (JSA)
  • Income based Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income Support (IS)
  • Pension Guarantee Credit
  • Working Tax Credit (WTC)
  • Child Tax Credits (CTC)
  • Universal Credit (UC)
  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
  • Contribution based Jobseekers allowance (JSA)
  • Contribution based Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Housing benefit
  • How do homeowners apply for a Green Homes Grant for insulation?

    The application process has not yet been confirmed, but it will be an online process starting in September 2020 and lasting until the end of March 2022.

    Only insulation companies which have registered with the scheme and are TrustMark approved will be able to complete work under the Green Homes Grants scheme. Homeowners will then request quotes from those suppliers for the work needed and the government will pay the supplier directly.

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