What is the Green Homes Grant?

19 August 2020 Kingspan Insulation UK
Green Homes Grant for homeowners and landlords

What is the Green Homes Grant?
The Green Homes Grant is a new government scheme providing homeowners and landlords in England with grants to make improvements, such as retrofitting insulation or installing solar thermal panels, to the energy efficiency of their properties.

The scheme was announced by the chancellor in July 2020 and aims to help over 600,000 households save potentially hundreds of pounds in energy bills. 

Here we answer a few common questions about the scheme.
 

How does the Green Homes Grant work?
You can now visit the Simple Energy Advice (SEA) website. Based on your answers to a few questions about your property, the site will make recommendations on the improvements which might be suitable. You will then be sent a list of approved tradespeople who you can contact for a quote. From the end of September, you will be able to submit your chosen quote via the SEA portal. Once this is approved, you will receive a voucher covering up to 100% of the cost of the improvement.

What types of improvements are covered by the Green Homes Grant?
The scheme covers a range of improvements which are split into two classes:

1. Primary Improvements
•    Insulation – Most insulation applications are covered, including solid and cavity wall insulation, under floor insulation, flat and pitched roof insulation (with insulation fitted at rafter height), loft insulation (with insulation fitted at joist height) and improvements to park homes. Applications within new extensions, outbuildings and conservatories are not covered through the scheme.
•    Low carbon heating systems: These include air or ground source heat pumps which effectively replace your boiler, biomass boilers and solar thermal roof panels that supply hot water.

2. Seconday Improvements
•    Draught proofing 
•    Windows and doors: External doors fitted before 2002 can be replaced with more efficient alternatives. In addition, single-glazed homes can be upgraded with either double, triple or secondary glazing.
•    Heating controls and service insulation: These include a number of thermostat options, smart heating controls and hot water tank insulation.
It is important to note that in order to qualify for a grant, the work must include at least one primary improvement. 

How much money can I receive from the Green Homes Grant?
Most can receive vouchers for up to £5,000, typically covering two thirds of the total cost of the property refurbishment. 

Those on low-income can apply for grants of up to £10,000 which will cover 100% of the retrofit costs.

What work can I claim for through a Green Homes Grant?
In addition to the cost of labour and materials when carrying out your improvement, the Green Homes Grant can also be used to cover a number of other costs which might result from the improvement work. These include:
•    advisory services including damp assessments;
•    architectural detailed design drawings;
•    application fees for planning permission, listed building consent and Building Regulation applications;
•    essential structural improvements and engineering costs;
•    fitting passive ventilation; and
•    airtightness testing

Other costs such as furniture removal, accommodation during work, openings for new doors and windows or decoration work unrelated to the improvement cannot be financed through the scheme.

Do I qualify for a Green Homes Grant?
The grants are available for the following individuals:

1.    All homeowners (including long-leaseholders and shared ownership)
2.    Landlords of private and social sector domestic properties
3.    Park home owners on residential sites including Gypsy and Traveller sites

It does not cover new-build domestic properties and non-domestic properties.

Do I qualify for the low-income Green Homes Grant scheme?
Homeowners and park home owners can apply for grants under the low-income scheme if they receive any of the following:

•    Attendance Allowance 
•    Carer’s Allowance 
•    Child Tax Credits (CTC) 
•    Contribution based Employment & Support Allowance (ESA) 
•    Contribution based Jobseekers allowance (JSA) 
•    Disability Living Allowance (DLA) 
•    Housing benefit 
•    Income based Employment & Support Allowance (ESA) 
•    Income based Jobseekers allowance (JSA) 
•    Income Support (IS) 
•    Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit 
•    Pension Guarantee Credit 
•    Personal Independence Payment (PIP) 
•    Severe Disablement Allowance 
•    Universal Credit (UC) 
•    Working Tax Credit (WTC) 

Can tenants apply for a Green Homes Grant?
It is not possible for tenants to apply directly for a grant. The application will need to be made by the property landlord. In addition, it is not possible for leased properties to receive funding through the low-income Green Homes Grant Scheme.
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How can I find Green Homes Grant approved installers?
When you complete your entry on the SEA website you will be provided with a list of local approved installers. To ensure the refurbishment work is completed currently, all these firms are approved under the government TrustMark. You can find a full list of all TrustMark firms, and the services they provide, through the TrustMark website.

Can I use the Green Homes Grant for more than one improvement?
Yes, you can apply for several improvements providing your application includes at least one primary measure. Keep in mind, however, that the total grant provided for any secondary work cannot exceed that for the primary improvement. For example, if you receive a £1000 grant for installing floor insulation, the maximum grant available for fitting double glazing (or any other secondary measure) would be £1000.

Can I apply for a grant to replace existing insulation or double-glazed windows?
In some cases you may be able to apply for funds to ‘top-up’ measures. For example, this might include retrofitting additional loft insulation if the current layer does not meet recommendations or replacing single glazed windows with double-glazed units. It will, however, not be possible to replace like-for-like meaning grants can’t be used to fit double glazed units if existing windows are already double-glazed. 

Can I apply for grants for more than one property?
Landlords and homeowners will be able to apply for multiple properties, however, there is expected to be a limit on the maximum number of properties a landlord can apply for under the scheme. It is still to be confirmed what this will be.

Can I apply for improvements which will affect more than one property (such as envelope improvements on multi-unit housing)?
This will be possible, however, the application process is yet to be confirmed.

When is the deadline for Green Homes Grant applications?
The Government portal is expected to open in September with the first vouchers being awarded the same month. The scheme is expected to be over-subscribed so it is important to get your application in as early as possible.

Need more information?
If you have any questions about the scheme or how your property might benefit from retrofitting insulation then get in touch with our dedicated Green Homes Grant team using the form below or the following contact details: greenhomesgrant@kingspaninsulation.co.uk or call 01544 387 883.
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