The British government has stopped taking applications for the Green Homes Grant one year earlier than planned.
The Green Homes grant was launched in September 2020 with the intention of helping British home owners upgrade their properties to make them more environmentally friendly. The scheme was backed by the government to help it meet the UK’s contribution to reducing climate change.
Any improvements requested had to be undertaken with approved contractors and included
- solid wall insulation
- cavity wall insulation
- under-floor insulation
- loft insulation
- heat pump installations
- draught proofing
- double or triple glazing (where replacing single glazing)
- hot water tank insulation
- Smart heating controls
The vouchers covered the cost of labour, materials, VAT and any additional work necessary for the installation of approved measures.
Unfortunately, what seems on the face of it to be a brilliant scheme that would help reduce our carbon emissions had to be brought to an end early. The Green Homes Grant fell from grace in part because of difficulties issuing vouchers and issue of accreditation to companies so they could perform the work.
Disappointing for Home Owners
With the Green Homes Grant now on the rubbish heap, home owners may find themselves with huge fees and difficulty finding alternative schemes, though they do exist. However, there’s no uniform scheme and funding can depend on where you live and your income.
Energy efficient upgrades have huge upfront costs and take several years to pay for themselves. In older properties, the cost of the improvements can cost more than 10x the amount they save in bills in a single year.
When it comes to greener heating systems like heat pumps that save a large amount of carbon dioxide when compared with fossil fuel burning systems, there’s little financial incentive to make the change.
Impact on Business
Hundreds of small builders and contractors invested thousands of pounds to become eligible to carry out work, but now feel let-down by the scheme being scrapped early. Their trust in the government’s scheme and investment into becoming accredited seems to have been wasted.
Some contractors have carried out work under the scheme and are yet to be paid for the work they’ve done. That can be a hard burden to bare for any small business. This and stories of businesses spending thousands but not being able to be assessed for accreditation will make business wary of green government schemes going forward.
What could have been an amazing opportunity to reduce carbon emissions and save on the cost of bills for millions of people across Britain has turned into another example of a stop-go green initiative that undermines the trust people ave in the government to deliver such schemes.
As of today, the government haven’t announced any alternative schemes for home owners to take advantage of. Hopefully, this doesn’t have too much of an impact on the governments aim to tackle climate change and be seen as a global leader.