Last summer Rishi Sunak revealed the Green Homes Grant which meant homeowners could retrofit properties with energy efficient measures including insulation, double-glazing, heat pumps and more, and the government would pay at least two-thirds of the cost.
It is said the programme has been cancelled early, after just six months of being announced, due to slow uptake from the public.
The grant reached just 10% of the 600,000 homes the chancellor promised it would help improve. Many have put this down to the ‘incompetent administration’ of the grant, which made it difficult for some households to access, and even put some installers out of business, as the checks on the way the money was spent were so stringent that payments were badly delayed.
Considering nearly two thirds of UK homes currently fail to meet long-term energy efficient targets, this does not seem like the time to be cutting a scheme aimed at correcting that issue.
Julie Hirigoyen, chief executive of the UK Green Building Council has depicted this as ‘yet another roadblock for decarbonising the country’s 29 million homes.’ She went on to say:
‘We have been left speechless by this news, which comes just days after the Environmental Audit Committee sent a clear message to government that if we are to meet our legally binding target to be net zero carbon by 2050, urgent action is needed to improve energy efficiency of homes this decade’.
‘From start to finish the scheme has been beset by problems of the government’s own making – but these should have been fixed, not used to justify its scrapping. In the year of the UK hosting COP26, this is not the sort of example we wanted to be setting for the world – a lesson in precisely how not to do policy making in this vital sector.’
As of yet, there are no other plans to help green UK homes through retrofit, which we believe plays a big role in increasing our home’s energy efficiency and therefore decreasing our harmful emissions.
The £300m previously allocated for the Green Homes Grant will now go into a programme administered by local authorities, targeted at lower income households. It is unclear the extent to which this will help reduce the UK’s emissions.
If you want to apply for the grant it must be done by 5pm tonight. Our grant posts will reflect the change then.
If you have missed that deadline and were thinking of installing insulation, only the ECO scheme remains which very few, low-income households will be able to take advantage of. However, you can still take advantage of the RHI scheme for both a heat pump and solar thermal.