The UK’s commitment to reaching net zero by 2050 requires a radical transformation in the way in which we use, generate and distribute energy. The decarbonisation of heat will be one of the greatest challenges faced to reach net zero. At present, the provision of heat is the biggest contributor to carbon emissions within the UK; with heat accounting for approximately 37% of total UK Carbon emissions (inclusive of industry processes). Catapult Energy Saving Trust have stated that of this percentage it is estimated that 14% can be attributed to domestic homes.
On 30 September 2020, The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) announced the introduction of the Green Homes Grant (GHG). The £2 billion scheme is part of the government’s plans to decarbonise heat and build back a greener and stronger economy post COVID-19. The scheme could see up to 600,000 households across England save up to £600 on their energy bills.
The scheme allows homeowners and residential landlords (across England only) to apply for a voucher towards the cost of installing energy efficient improvements to their home. The scheme funds up to two thirds of the cost of improvements up to the value of £5000. Households on the lowest income 100% of the costs of work covered up to £10,000.”
To qualify for the grant, your home must be in England and all renovations or alternations must be undertaken by 31 March 2022. In addition to this, you must either:
- Be the owner of your own home, or
- Be a private or social landlord (landlords are not eligible to apply for the low income part of the scheme)
There are two renovation categories: primary and secondary.
Primary Measures include:
- Insultation ( Solid walls, cavity walls, lofts etc)
- Heat Pumps ( Air Source, Ground source and Hybrid)
- Solar Thermal
Whilst solar thermal installations are eligible for a Green Homes Grant voucher, solar power and energy storage installations are not.
Secondary Measures include:
- Draft Proofing
- Upgrading to double, secondary or triple glazing ( replacing single glazing)
- Energy efficient replacement doors
- Heating controls ( e.g smart heating controls)
- Hot water tank thermostats and insultation.
Secondary measures are only possible if at least one primary measure is carried out.
Local authorities will also be making further support available for low income households in their local area through the Green Homes Grant: Local Authority Delivery Scheme ( LAD). As part of the Green Homes Grant, £500 million will be allocated to improving the energy efficiency of low income households and low EPC rented homes (homes with Band, E,F and G).Local Authorities in England (Individually or as part of a consortium with other local authorities and/or partners) are able to submit bids for funding to improve energy efficiency of low income homes as part of a country wide effort to reduce fuel poverty.
The minimum bid a local authority can make is £500,000 (with no maximum outlined but the total funding is £200 millions). Request submitted must ensure that work is complete by the end of March 2021. An additional £300 million for 2022 will be delivered through Local Energy Hubs across England to secure services to upgrade eligible homes.
Funding must only be provided in relation to eligible measures. Eligible measures are any energy efficiency and heating measures compatible with the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) that will help improve E, F or G rated homes. In the application form, it is expected that LAs will evidence products and technologies of a good standard such as renewable heating measures listed on the MCS Directory used for domestic RHI product eligibility:
- Solar thermal for domestic hot water (DHW) heating only (Domestic hot water heating means hot water used for purposes other than space heating or heating a swimming pool)
- Air source heat pumps
- Ground & water source heat pumps
- Biomass (please note that BEIS does not expect proposals will include measures such as Biomass boilers due to the operational costs for low income households and ongoing requirements for biomass on fuel sustainability and air quality)
Who should be carrying out the work?
To carry out work under the scheme, all tradespeople and businesses will need to be certified to install energy efficiency measures and register to take part in the scheme. Installers of Low Carbon Heat measures for example heat pumps must be certified with the MCS. In addition, only Trust Mark-registered businesses can register to be a Green Homes Grant installer.
Unlike the GHG Scheme, under the LAD scheme, local authorities are not required to use Trustmark registered installers however for local authorities who chose not to use Trustmark installers will need to clearly outline how they will guarantee high quality work will be undertaken and take the appropriate steps to ensure customer protection.
BEIS: Department for business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. It is responsible for several Government Policy areas such as Business and Industrial Strategy, Science, Innovation, Energy and Climate Change.
Local Energy Hubs: Provide practical support and expertise to LEPS and local authorities to assist in understanding of development of priority energy projects from the initial stages to securing funding.