Green Homes Grant Scheme offers limited opportunity for heating installers

The government has announced further details on their new £2 billion Green Homes Grant, which is due to go live at the end of September.

The Green Homes Grant Scheme was first announced on 8 July 2020 by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in his Summer Statement.  The scheme will help homeowners in England make their homes more energy efficient through the government paying two-thirds of the cost for energy efficient home improvements of up to £5,000 and £10,000 for those on low incomes. The primary purpose of the Scheme given its announcement by the Chancellor was aimed at supporting the jobs market as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The government has now confirmed that homeowners will be able to spend vouchers with installers who are accredited to the PAS2030 or Microgeneration Certification Scheme (for renewable technologies) standard to install one or more of the following:

  • solid wall, under-floor, cavity wall or roof insulation
  • air source or ground source heat pump
  • solar thermal

In addition, households can use their voucher for further energy saving measures (but only in conjunction with those primary measures shown above). These include one or more of the following:

  • double or triple glazing/secondary glazing, when replacing single glazing
  • upgrading to energy efficient doors
  • hot water tank/appliance tank thermostats/heating controls

The government believes these measures could help homeowners save up to £600 a year on their energy bills, however John Thompson, CEO at the Association of Plumbing & Heating Contractors is disappointed with the scheme: “I am disappointed that yet again the government has failed to listen to our industry and have created another ill-fated scheme.  Firstly, the government appears to have made a huge oversight in not including high efficiency condensing boilers in the overall scheme as there was much here to assist with stimulating growth and more sustainable employment.

 “Secondly, the accreditation standards are far too complex and burdensome for the vast majority of heating installers who will struggle to provide the necessary administration support to operate the required quality management system.

 “Thirdly, the scheme is due to finish in March 2021 meaning there is a very small window of opportunity for installers and so the work required to obtain the necessary accreditation may well not be worth it for them.

“Ultimately, the Green Homes Grant Scheme offers very little for the average plumbing and heating installer and I fear it will be another Green Deal type failure and will play a very small part in helping the UK meet its 2050 carbon neutral target and, perhaps of equal importance, it will do very little to secure the employment growth in relation to the plumbing and heating industry that is so needed following the pandemic.”

7 August Update – It has today been confirmed by BEIS that the Green Homes Grant can be used in conjunction with Domestic RHI (DRHI). In this scenario, the homeowner will first apply for a Green Homes Grant and then subsequently can also apply for DRHI. The amount of their Grant is then taken off the value of their projected DRHI payments.