How to make your home greener with a government grant

Cut the cost of making your house more environmentally friendly with a Green Home Grant.

If you own a home in England you can now apply for a Green Home Grant to reduce the cost of making your home more environmentally friendly. Anyone planning to apply should be prepared for delays, however. 

A survey by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit has found that 62% of homeowners are interested, which has “sparked fears that the scheme will be overwhelmed”, says Melissa Lawford in The Daily Telegraph.

The grants are issued in the form of vouchers covering two thirds of the cost of a range of home improvements. The maximum voucher is £5,000 unless you, or someone in your home, receives certain benefits (including income support and universal credit), in which case the maximum value is £10,000. 

The government is set to issue around 600,000 vouchers worth a total of £2bn. As it is a grant you need never pay the money back, but you must complete the work by 31 March 2021 when the vouchers expire. 

The vouchers can be used to part-pay for a variety of measures to make your house greener. These include cavity wall insulation; loft insulation; underfloor insulation; air-source heat pumps; ground-source heat pumps; solar thermal heating and biomass pellet boilers. These are known as the primary measures. So, if you want to install a biomass pellet boiler that costs £7,500 you would get a Green Home Grant for £5,000 and only pay £2,500 yourself.

If you undertake one of these primary jobs, then you can also use the grant for a secondary project such as draught proofing; triple glazing; energy-efficient replacement doors; secondary glazing; hot-water tank insulation; thermostats and heating controls.

“The subsidy for the secondary measure is capped at the value of the grant provided for the primary one,” says Lawford. You can’t use the vouchers to replace work already carried out,but you can use them to top up green measures –  adding to your insulation, for example.

When you apply you require a quote from a Green Homes Grant-registered installer. “If the price seems unreasonably high, the scheme administrator may request that you provide another quote,” says Miles Brignall in The Guardian. 

Remember, in order to qualify for a grant, you must own a home in England. Landlords can apply, as can anyone with a long leasehold or shared ownership. What’s the best job to get done? Opt for the air-source heat pump, according to Brignall. “This typically costs £10,000-£12,000. Households can use the £5,000 voucher... with the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive payments – combined with the potential savings on your energy bill this could cover the full cost of the new system.”

So what should you watch out for? With so much interest in the scheme, the criminals are on to it too. Conmen are already “sending emails claiming to be about the scheme and using a bogus weblink to steal personal data. Homeowners have also reported being cold-called [and texted] by people claiming to be offering insulation as part of the scheme”. If you want to apply for a Green Home Grant you can find a certified installer via simpleenergyadvice.org.uk/installer-search.

Recommended

Beating inflation takes more luck than skill – but are we about to get lucky?
Inflation

Beating inflation takes more luck than skill – but are we about to get lucky?

The US Federal Reserve managed to beat inflation in the 1980s. But much of that was down to pure luck. Thankfully, says Merryn Somerset Webb, the Bank…
26 Sep 2022
Johann Rupert: the Warren Buffett of luxury goods
People

Johann Rupert: the Warren Buffett of luxury goods

Johann Rupert, the presiding boss of Swiss luxury group Richemont, has seen off a challenge to his authority by a hedge fund. But his trials are not o…
26 Sep 2022
The hidden cost of employee share schemes
Investment strategy

The hidden cost of employee share schemes

Paying employees in shares comes at a cost to investors – but it isn’t always easy to see how much, says Stephen Clapham.
26 Sep 2022
Sterling crashes to its lowest since 1985 after mini-Budget
Currencies

Sterling crashes to its lowest since 1985 after mini-Budget

The pound has fallen hard and is heading towards parity with the US dollar. Saloni Sardana explains why, and what it means for the UK, for markets and…
23 Sep 2022

Most Popular

Could gold be the basis for a new global currency?
Gold

Could gold be the basis for a new global currency?

Gold has always been the most reliable form of money. Now collaboration between China and Russia could lead to a new gold-backed means of exchange – g…
22 Sep 2022
Paypal, bitcoin, and the weaponisation of money
Bitcoin & crypto

Paypal, bitcoin, and the weaponisation of money

Recent events have shown how both business and governments can “weaponise” money and shut down dissent. What to do? Buy bitcoin, says Dominic Frisby.
22 Sep 2022
Why you should short this satellite broadband company
Trading

Why you should short this satellite broadband company

With an ill-considered business plan, satellite broadband company AST SpaceMobile is doomed to failure, says Matthew Partridge. Here's how to short th…
23 Sep 2022