The Government have announced a new Green Homes Grant scheme. The scheme will see vouchers, worth up to £5,000 issued to homeowners in England to make their homes more energy efficient.
Launching in September we still don’t know how the scheme will work and when the vouchers will be available from.
What is being reported so far is:
As part of the Green Homes Grant scheme, eligible homeowners will be able to use the vouchers to help pay for environmentally friendly improvements such as installing loft, floor and wall insulation or double-glazing – we don’t know if it will include doors and insulated conservatory roofs yet.
What is the Green Homes Grant?
The scheme, as we understand it, will see the Government giving homeowners in England vouchers towards the cost of energy efficient improvements, which should cover much – and in some cases all – of the cost.
People will have to apply for a voucher once the scheme is up and running in September. Once received they will then be able to spend it to improve their homes.
The aim of the scheme is to help homeowners and promote energy efficiency, but also to help boost the economy during the coronavirus pandemic by creating jobs. We certainly expect to be busier and are already looking for extra staff.
What can I buy with the vouchers?
The Treasury says the vouchers can pay for "green improvements such as loft, wall and floor insulation", while Business Secretary Alok Sharma has indicated that double-glazing will also be included.
The Government hasn't yet given a complete list, so other improvements may also be covered, we expect doors to be included and understand that boilers for central heating will not.
How much will the vouchers be worth?
Most homeowners will qualify for a maximum of £5,000 per household. The Government scheme will cover two thirds of the cost. For example, if you are replacing windows and the bill comes to £4,500, the scheme would provide vouchers to the value of £3,000 and you would pay the balance of £1,500 (you get your new windows for £1,500!)
Low income families can qualify for £10,000 worth of improvements without the requirement to pay anything.
New windows and doors with the additional energy saving will also mean that homeowners save money year after year. This sounds like an excellent deal for homeowners.
Who will be able to get the vouchers?
The Government said it hopes the scheme will help pay for improvements in over 600,000 homes across England – so the vouchers should be fairly widely available. There has been no indication that the grants will be linked to household income and we await confirmation.
The threshold for the £10,000 hasn’t been released yet and we await details of that too.
How can I apply for a voucher?
Patience will be required! The scheme is set to be launched at “some point” in September. Applications for grants will need to be made online.
We believe that there will be recommended accredited suppliers. As a specialist, established business with trained, tested and certified fitters we would expect to qualify. Once we have provided a quote and the work has been approved, a voucher will be issued.
It is worth noting that the Government hasn't said how long it could take for an application to be approved and a voucher issued. I think that there will be a mad rush at the start so you may want to find your product and price early!
Will any company be able to do this – or is it just specific installers?
No, only registered and certified businesses will be able to undertake the work.
With the Green Deal negotiating with suppliers was difficult because the numbers were limited and prices were inflated.
We have never enhanced our prices to reduce them with artificial discounts, and we are not about to start. This means that you really will get a massive saving.
I was planning to order double-glazing now – should I wait?
As explained there may be an assessment needed to get these vouchers – and not everyone may be able to get what they want.
We have four simple values Honesty, Integrity, Quality and Value.
We don’t know the details yet, but the programme does look like it will be very attractive, and it would be wrong for us to say you shouldn’t wait.
Now that causes us a problem because we are just coming out of lockdown and getting back into the flow of things. But it would run against the ethics of our business to infer that it is not worth waiting to find out more detail.
Whilst it may not be the best time to place an order you should still come and see us and get a quotation to ensure that you are closer to the front of the queue when the vouchers are issued.
I already have an order with you – will I still get vouchers?
We do not know if the government will backdate the scheme and whether you can apply retrospectively. We do not believe that will be the case.
We will try and help wherever we can, but I guess that if you have paid a deposit the government will not support a claim. This will be immensely frustrating for some but please be patient with us, it is a position that the government has placed us in and not any action that we have undertaken.
Please be aware that we would have ordered your products and the price of your deposit will not cover the costs that we would have incurred. Because windows and doors are measured for individual houses they have no value once manufactured because no two doors and windows are exactly the same.