In an announcement last month, The Chancellor revealed the government’s latest plans regarding new legislation and grants to help the country recover from the Coronavirus crisis. One of these announcements was the Green Homes Grant, where eligible homeowners in England will be able to use the vouchers to pay for environmentally friendly improvements. The scheme aims to upgrade over 600,000 homes across England. To help you understand this scheme in more detail, and exactly what you need to know, the team at Hancock and Partners are here to help you with this blog. 

What is the Green Homes Grant? 

The Green Homes Grant is a government scheme that will provide grants of up to £5,000 for homeowners and landlords to make their properties more energy-efficient. The grants will be provided in the form of vouchers which can be used towards making certain energy-efficient improvements to homes. Low-income households can receive up to £10,000 in vouchers to also put  towards home improvements, providing them with the additional financial support they require. 

What will the vouchers cover? 

In the Government’s announcement on 4th August, they outlined exactly the improvements that can be made using the vouchers. For most homeowners, the vouchers will be worth about two-thirds of the cost of the energy-efficient improvements. The Green Homes Grant Scheme will provide vouchers to install one or more energy-saving measures, including:

  • Double glazed windows
  • Double glazed doors
  • Air Source Heat Pumps
  • Ground Source Heat Pumps
  • Solar Thermal
  • Wall insulation
  • Roof insulation

However, it is important to note that these potential home improvements have been split into two categories: primary and secondary. Homeowners must install at least one measure from the primary category in order to qualify for the vouchers.

Primary category:

  • Insulation (such as loft, cavity wall or under-floor insulation)
  • Low carbon heating (such as air source heat pumps, ground source heat pumps or solar thermal).

As long as you apply for one of the measures from the primary category, you will also be able to claim for a grant for secondary measures:

  • Double/triple glazing (only where replacing single glazing)
  • Energy-efficient doors – when replacing doors which were installed before 2002. 
  • Draught-proofing
  • Heating controls and insulation, such as thermostats and smart heating controls.

Are you eligible for this scheme? 

Not everyone is available for this scheme, and only the following properties are eligible:

  • All owner-occupied homes
  • Landlords of private rented sector domestic properties
  • Landlords of social sector domestic properties
  • Park homeowners

If you are looking to take advantage of the lower-income scheme, only owner-occupied properties and park homes are eligible. You can only qualify for the low-income scheme if you receive at least one of the following:

  • Attendance Allowance
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Child Tax Credits (CTC) 
  • Contribution-based Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Contribution-based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)
  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • Income-based Employment & Support Allowance (ESA) 
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)
  • Income Support (IS) 
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
  • Housing benefit
  • Pension Guarantee Credit
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP) 
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Universal Credit (UC)
  • Working Tax Credit (WTC)

How do you apply for the Green Homes Grant? 

When the scheme comes into effect in September, homeowners and landlords will be able to apply for a voucher online which can be redeemable with accredited partners. At the moment, there is no official start date, but the Government has confirmed that the Green Homes Grant scheme will only be available until the end of March 2021. 

Before you go ahead with the improvements, you will need to obtain a quote for your renovation project from an installer and apply for approval for the work, then the voucher will be issued to you. When choosing the tradesperson to work with, you need to consider that there are strict accreditation rules for tradespeople involved in the scheme. The Government wants to ensure that the improvements adhere to the very best standards of work, so the tradespeople must be from a TrustMark Registered Business. 

Why has the government launched the Green Homes Grant scheme?

The Government is really focusing on ensuring that properties are as energy efficient as possible and have previously highlighted that residential rental properties should be achieving an Energy Performance Certificate rating of D or better by 2025 and C or better by 2030. So, this scheme is not only in place to protect and create jobs, but also to help households save money on their energy bills. 

About Hancock and Partners

As letting agents in Chichester, no matter whether you are looking to buy, sell, rent or let property in Chichester or wider West Sussex, we would be more than happy to help you. We understand that the current situation has prompted many households to either change their surroundings by moving to the countryside or to make improvements to existing homes; whatever your circumstances, we are here to assist. 

If you would like to get in touch with the friendly Hancock and Partners team, please feel free to give us a call on 01243 531111, and we will be ready to advise you on your next move.