Why is the Green Homes Grant scheme failing to deliver?
February 19, 2021
Green Energy, Efficient Heating Systems, Professional Air Source Heat Pump Installation
The Green Homes Grant scheme was launched to help home owners or landlords afford home improvements that incorporate green technology. Vouchers of £5,000 aim to cover up to two thirds of the cost towards increased energy efficiency. This covers things like double glazing, heat pumps and insulation. The scheme began on 30th Sept 2020 and was intended to run for 6 months, but it has now been extended until March 2022.
Progress of the scheme was recently looked into by the House of Commons environmental audit committee (EAC) and several problems have been identified. Business minister Lord Callanan has admitted that only 20,000 of the vouchers have been issued to homeowners or landlords as of 5th Feb. The government’s target is to issue these vouchers to 600,000 households, but at this slow pace it will take over 10 years!
Feedback in November from people who have accessed the scheme highlighted a shortage of accredited installers. Only 1,300 companies have registered with TrustMark which is a requirement of the scheme. Philip Dunne, environmental audit committee chairman stated: “The principle of the Green Homes Grant should be commended. It is a timely initiative not only to boost energy efficiency of homes – which is urgently needed to stem carbon emissions – but to address our growing unemployment crisis triggered by the pandemic. But unless overhauled and further extended, this scheme will fail to deliver its ambition.
“Issuing vouchers is continuing at a snail’s pace, with only 20,000 of the 600,000 target issued four months in – at this rate it will take over 10 years to fulfil the government’s expectation. Many of the builders and installers that can do the work are in limbo as a result of the time taken to approve applications, and perversely we have heard evidence some are having to lay off skilled workers as orders have been stalled pending confirmation of vouchers.