The scheme offers to fund up to two-thirds of the cost of installing insulation, heat pumps and draught-proofing.
“Removing the money would be an alarming early failure of the government’s 10-point plan for a green recovery, transforming a flagship policy into something tokenistic.”
Last August, the government introduced a new scheme:
If you’re a homeowner or residential landlord you can apply for a Green Homes Grant voucher towards the cost of installing energy efficient improvements to your home. Improvements could include insulating your home to reduce your energy use or installing low-carbon heating to lower the amount of carbon dioxide your home produces.
One issue has been the now-looming deadline:
You must redeem the voucher and ensure improvements are completed by 31 March 2022.
Another has been the slow uptake of the scheme, as noted by MPs last week:
The slow pace of progress achieved by a government scheme aimed at tackling climate change and keeping homes warm in winter has been criticised by MPs. Ministers admit the Green Homes Grant has issued only 21,000 vouchers towards the cost of installing insulation. At the current rate it would take more than 10 years to meet the government’s target of vouchers to 600,000 homes, the Environmental Audit Committee says.
The government says it is striving to improve its performance. The scheme offers to fund up to two-thirds of the cost of installing insulation, heat pumps and draught proofing.
But householders often cannot get through to accredited tradespeople on the scheme because they are overwhelmed with calls.
And the MPs say delays in the grants system are often hampering insulation firms from getting paid by the government for the work they have done. Some firms are pulling out of the scheme altogether. The committee says part of the problem is a severe shortage of engineers. Many such posts were closed when the government turned off the tap of grants for home insulation in 2013.
The government has come up with a reason for the slow uptake:
And now it won’t be extending the grant system:
Business minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan has revealed the £2billion available would not be rolled over into the next financial year from March. Speaking in parliament, she said: “The original funding for the green homes grant voucher scheme was announced as a short-term stimulus, for use in the 2020-21 financial year only.” She indicated a far smaller budget – £320million – would be available from March this year – effectively withdrawing hundreds of millions of pounds from the programme.
Chris Hewett, the chief executive of the trade association Solar Energy UK, said removing the money “would be an alarming early failure of the government’s 10-point plan for a green recovery, transforming a flagship policy into something tokenistic”.
ITV’s Money Show this week was urging people to apply for the grant – with a video snippet courtesy of the Sun:
And Devon Live are also urging people to act as it does indeed seem to be coming to a close: