Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has confirmed that the Green Homes Grant voucher scheme will be extended by a year to March 2022 as part of his ‘Ten Point Plan’ for a ‘green industrial revolution’.
The Prime Minister said: “Although this year has taken a very different path to the one we expected, I haven’t lost sight of our ambitious plans to level up across the country. My Ten Point Plan will create, support and protect hundreds of thousands of green jobs, whilst making strides towards net zero by 2050.”
The scheme, which only launched at the end of September, was originally set to run until March 2021. The extension to March 2022 will therefore provide more time for households and tradespeople who wish to take advantage of it.
Under the Green Homes Grant, property owners can apply for a voucher to help towards the cost of installing energy efficiency measures to their home. Vouchers will cover two-thirds of the cost of eligible improvements, up to a maximum of £5,000 or £10,000 if the household is on low income or certain benefits.
The Green Homes Grant is designed to help prepare the home improvement sector for the ‘whole house retrofit’ approach in order to reduce carbon emissions and meet net-zero by 2050.
Simon Ayers, chief executive of TrustMark, said “We are very pleased to hear the Green Homes Grant has been extended for a year, allowing homeowners and residential landlords further time to benefit from the subsidised energy efficiency measures. We urge any tradespeople wishing to take part in the scheme to apply for TrustMark registration and the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) if you install low carbon heat measures. You also need to be certified to the relevant Publicly Available Specification (PAS) standards to give property owners quality assurance”
“Never has the opportunity for businesses to develop and grow and support the delivery of government initiatives such as the Green Homes Grant been so great. Businesses certificated to PAS 2030:2017 and PAS 2030:2019 can deliver to these government recognised standards which are instrumental in enhancing consumer protection and confidence.”
Ian Rippin, CEO of MCS – the national standards organisation for renewables – also welcomed the extension of the scheme and said: “It’s largely positive to see that the ambition with regards to environmental policy is growing…
“We have been calling for an extension to the grant, so the new March 2022 deadline, backed by a further £1bn investment, is a step in the right direction that should enable more installers and consumers to benefit.
“That said, it is vitally important that we support skills and training for the sector. The grant extension needs to be backed by the policy instruments that enable growth while protecting quality and consumer confidence in the technologies available.
“We are poised to scale up the MCS certification scheme, as this announcement underlines the importance and need for competent installers who can deliver installations that are right for consumers’ premises.”
Julie Hirigoyen, chief executive at the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC), said: “We’re pleased to see the government bring forward a package of measures that begins to recognise the importance of a multi-faceted approach to tackling the climate crisis. “Retrofitting our existing homes, which are some of the draughtiest in Europe, is critical to driving down emissions across the country. We therefore welcome the extension of the Green Homes Grant, which will give installers more time to help more people upgrade their homes.”
Brian Berry, chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) said: “The extension of the Green Homes Grant for another year is very positive news, and shows that builders’ concerns have been listened to. This will give the reassurance needed to the building industry to invest in the scheme. However, the green revolution needs to be more ambitious about the built environment if the government is serious about creating a low carbon economy.”
Berry continued: “Our existing homes contribute 20% of all our carbon emissions and consume 35% of our energy. A long term retrofit strategy is needed over the next two decades to make all our existing homes more energy efficient. Such a strategy has the potential to create hundreds of thousands of new jobs and save the NHS as much as £2 billion because of the cost of people living in poor housing conditions.”
Berry concluded: “The start of the Green Industrial Revolution has huge potential to improve everyone’s lives but tacking all our homes to make them greener and more energy efficient has to be an immediate priority and this requires a long term strategy.”
For more information on how to become a Green Homes Grant installer click here: www.trustmark.org.uk/ghgvsopp.