Green Homes Grant
The Government opened the Green Homes Grant scheme in September 2020, offering homeowners and landlords the opportunity to get some financial help towards the costs of energy efficiency improvements.
At Warmer Sussex, we offer a whole house retrofit service. We take this whole house approach because we know that it is the best way to lower the energy usage of homes and cut carbon emissions as much as possible. It is also the best way to avoid any issues later down the line, which we often see where individual or piecemeal retrofit measures are implemented without considering how the whole house functions together.
With this whole house focus, our service always begins with a home survey and bespoke Whole House Plan, before we recommend the right measures for your home, in the right order.
You may be considering using the Government’s Green Homes Grant scheme to help pay towards some of the improvements you are hoping to make to your home. If so, it is important to understand how this scheme could affect your plans.
The Green Homes Grant is only available for certain types and combinations of energy efficiency improvements. These may not align with the most beneficial improvements to your home or could cause issues with later improvements.
The Green Homes Grant requires you to use installers who are TrustMark and PAS2030 or MCS certified, to ensure high quality of work. Nationwide, there are constraints in the supply chain of installers who have these certifications which makes sourcing contractors difficult. These shortages existed in the building sector before the Grant was launched and have been exacerbated by high demand.
For a few insulation measures, there are constraints in the range of systems that have the financial protections required by TrustMark – known as ‘Insurance Backed Guarantees’. Not all building types are catered by the current available range of insulation systems.
If you live in a Conservation Area and your home is traditionally constructed (i.e., not using modern methods or materials), contractors are now required to undertake additional steps and assessments due to the higher risk these types of buildings represent. These processes are complex and new, therefore more time and effort are required to ensure they are fully understood and compliance is achieved.
These factors, taken alongside our whole house focus and the risk of delays for customers who try to make use of the Green Homes Grant in their retrofit, means we would not advise new Warmer Sussex customers and contractors to engage with Green Homes Grant scheme for their home retrofit.
We will, of course, continue to support all existing Warmer Sussex customers who hope to take advantage of the Green Homes Grant scheme in their retrofit plans, within the current known constraints of the scheme.
We are continuing to monitor the development of the Green Homes Grant and we hope to see an improvement to the current processes and administration of the scheme, given the extension until March 2022. We will update our advice based on this, and we very much hope to be able to promote the Green Homes Grant with confidence in the future.
How to make the most of the Green Homes Grant
If you are an existing Warmer Sussex client.
If you have already registered with us and are part way through our service, we will do our best to help you take full advantage of the Green Homes Grant, within the current constraints of the scheme. This may not be possible, depending on the measures that you hope to install in your home and the availability of installers to deliver them.
If you are an existing customer and have any questions, you can get in touch with our team
0330 223 5755
If you would like to make a single improvement from the list.
Making a single, isolated improvement to your home could cause further issues in the future, as the fabric of the whole house is not being taken into consideration. As described above, this is why Warmer Sussex takes a whole house approach to retrofit. We do not recommend you use the Green Homes Grant to make a single improvement without taking expert advice that considers your entire home, as you would through our home survey and Whole House Plan service.
We understand that Warmer Sussex is not always the right route for everyone who wanta to make improvements to their home. Or you may live outside of the area that we work within (across East and West Sussex, Brighton and Hove, and close to our borders). If you plan to undertake smaller improvements, it may be more cost effective to project manage and source contractors yourself. However, by taking this approach you will likely be compromising the long term strategy for improving the energy efficiency of your home unless you take advice from an expert on energy use in residential buildings.
However, if you still wish to use the Green Homes grant in this way, visit the Government’s website to find out more
If you want to retrofit your home in the most effective way
If you are interested in understanding how to most effectively retrofit your whole home – improving the comfort of your home while reducing your carbon emissions and energy bills – then find out more about how we can help you here: www.warmersussex.co.uk/your-options
What is the Green Homes Grant?
The Green Homes Grant scheme was announced in July as part of the Government’s Plan for Jobs. It is open to homeowners and landlords, who can apply for vouchers towards the cost of energy efficiency improvements.
The vouchers will cover up to two thirds of the cost of the improvements, up to a maximum of £5,000. If you receive certain means tested benefits, you could get a voucher that covers all the costs of your improvements, up to a maximum of £10,000
How do I apply?
Visit the government’s website to find out more about the scheme and how to apply https://greenhomesgrant.campaign.gov.uk/
Make sure that you read the Terms & Conditions in full - they explain in detail how the process works and what you and your chosen installer need to do.
If you are planning to make a number of improvements, then we recommend you register with us to benefit from our service. We will ensure your retrofit is completed in the most effective way, with the support of a retrofit expert and assurance of pre-vetted contractors. We will do our best to help you access Green Homes Grant for your retrofit, but this may not be possible due to the constraints we have described above.
What measures does the Green Homes Grant cover?
Two categories of improvements have been created. You will be able to apply for a voucher to install one or more of the following ‘primary’ measures:
- Solid wall insulation, cavity wall insulation, under-floor insulation or roof insulation (including loft, flat roof and room-in-roof) and park home insulation
- Air source heat pump or ground source heat pump
- Solar thermal heating
In addition to one of the above, you can use your voucher for one or more improvement on the ‘secondary measures’ list. The cost of the secondary measure cannot be greater than the cost of the primary measure:
- Draught proofing
- Replacing single glazing with double/triple glazing or installing secondary glazing
- Upgrading doors (installed before 2002) with energy efficient replacements
- Hot water tank insulation
- A range of heating controls – including hot water tank thermostats, thermostatic radiator valves and smart heating controls.
We can help you understand which of these various measures suit your home best. Every home is different, and many factors affect what can most improve comfort and energy efficiency. Our home survey and Whole House Plan service can help you understand what measures make sense for your home as well as ensuring all improvements are designed, specified and installed correctly.
Details on available measures and eligibility for the low income scheme can be found here
What can I do now?
You can use the Warmer Sussex Plan Builder to start getting an idea of the best options for your home and the likely costs, then get in touch with us.
Or you can simply send us your details and we’ll arrange an appointment for a home survey and Warmer Sussex Whole House Plan, which will show you what energy efficiency improvements best suit your home and which would have the biggest impact. Your retrofit coordinator will steer you through which options are eligible for the grant.
We can then get you up to three quotations and help you plan the works with local contractors who are members of our cooperative and those accredited to carry out work funded by the Green Homes Grant.
We also provide expert support for the contractors doing work to your home, meaning that the works you have done really deliver you the benefits they should.