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Property owners can benefit from the Green Homes Grant – but what is it?

19 August 2020
Gavin Hooker
COVID-19, Building & Construction, Property Investors & Developers

In the Summer Economic Update, the Chancellor announced a plan to make Britain green with a £3 billion investment. A part of this was the Green Homes Grant, available to property owners, and the government has now published more details on what this scheme is and how it will work.

What is the Green Homes Grant?

Homeowners can claim vouchers worth two-thirds of the cost of energy improvements, up to a maximum of £5,000 per household. Those on low incomes can claim the full cost of energy-efficient improvements up to £10,000 per household.

What improvements can you make under the scheme?

The works are split into primary and secondary categories. To qualify for these vouchers homeowners must install at least one “primary improvement” which are:

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

Providing that the energy-saving works include at least one measure from the primary category, homeowners will also be able to claim for a grant for secondary measures which include:

  • Double/triple glazing (only where replacing single glazing);
  • Energy-efficient doors (only where replacing doors installed prior to 2002);
  • Draught proofing; and
  • Heating controls and insulation, such as thermostats and smart heating controls.

What restrictions are there?

Replacements of existing insulation or low carbon heating will not qualify for a grant, but additional works to “top up” existing measures are eligible. For example, if the current loft insulation is not at the current recommended level, additional loft insulation can be installed on top of the existing insulation and this is covered under the grant. The existing insulation cannot be removed and replaced with new loft insulation.

In order for the installation of low carbon heating to qualify under the scheme, the house will also need to have adequate insulation before it is eligible for a grant.

Grants for secondary measures will be capped at the same amount provided in relation to the primary measures. This means that if a claim was put in for £1,000 in relation to insulation for example, then you will receive a maximum of £1,000 for double glazing.

Who can carry out the improvements?

Whilst you may think that any tradesperson will be able to carry out these works, to be able to claim under the scheme, those tradespeople need to have the TrustMark or Microgeneration Certification Scheme accreditation. A list of contractors will be provided to those applying for vouchers!

Businesses are also being urged by the government to sign up for these accreditations if they have not already done so.

Who can claim vouchers under this scheme?

The following properties are eligible under the scheme:

  • All owner-occupied homes (including long-leaseholders, shared ownership);
  • Landlords of private rented sector domestic properties;
  • Landlords of social sector domestic properties;
  • Park homeowners (for residential sites including Gypsy and Traveller sites).

New-build domestic properties and non-domestic (commercial) properties are not eligible. We are awaiting details of what is classified as a new-build domestic property, as soon as more information is available, this guidance will be updated.

For the low-income scheme, only owner-occupied properties and park homes are eligible.

How do I claim the vouchers?

Advice and support will be accessible from the Simple Energy Advice service (SEA) which will suggest home improvements for which homeowners can apply for funding. Once the works are agreed, vouchers will start to be issued from the end of September so work can commence.

If you are a property developer or landlord that is looking to make energy-efficient improvements, then this scheme may be good for you, but be careful of the hurdles you will need to go through!

The content in this blog is correct as at 19/08/2020. See terms and conditions.

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