On 8th July, The chanceller Rishi Sunak announced a £2 billion Green Home Grant Scheme. A total of £500 million will be delivered through local authorities to improve energy efficiency.
The green Homes Grant will give over 600,000 homeowners in England up to £10,000 to install insulation, heat pumps and more. This will help households cut energy bills, but it Doesn’t include boilers.
Builders, plumbers, and other tradespeople across England will need a government-backed seal of approval to provide their services as part of the new £2 billion Green Homes Grant going live at the end of September.
What’s included in Green home grant scheme?
Householders can claim up to a maximum £5k of funding for a number of eligible improvements. Low income householders can claim up to .£10k. The funding will provide up to 2/3rds of the installed improvement or measure with the householder providing the other 1/3rd.
The scheme is broken down into two levels of carbon reducing measures;
Primary measures comprise of the following measures,
- solid wall insulation
- cavity wall insulation
- underfloor insulation
- loft insulation
- room in a roof and park home insulation
- ground source Heatpump installation
- air source Heatpump installation
- solar thermal installation
Secondary measures comprise of,
- fraught proofing,
- windows and doors
- appliance thermostats,
- hot water cylinder thermostats and insulation,
- smart heating controls,
- delayed start thermostats,
- thermostatic radiator valves and zonal controls.
So long as there is at least one primary measure installed. Householders can claim upto the same amount to fund a secondary measure.
How can homeowners claim the Green home grant scheme?
To obtain the grant the householder must appoint a Trustmark or MCS registered installation company.
The scheme commences in September and the target is to spend the £2 billian amount by March 2021.
Tradespeople must register for TrustMark or Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) accreditation to take part in the scheme. This will cover green home improvements ranging from insulation of walls, floors and roofs, to the installation of low-carbon heating. Examples are heat pumps or solar thermal. These measures could help families save up to £600 a year on their energy bills.
Worcester Bosch opinion on Green home grant scheme
Martyn Bridges, Director of Technicoduct Management at Worcester Bosch commented; “Although we support any scheme that actively tries to improve the efficiency of UK homes. The fact that upgrading boilers is not included in this grant is an oversight. There are still anything up to 6m non-condensing boilers in operation. So upgrading to a high efficiency condensing boiler would have made a significant improvement to these homes.
“Another concern is that tradespeople need to be TrustMark or MCS accredited registered companies to undertake the work. The overwhelming majority of heating installation businesses are not members as they are small, one-man operated businesses. Therefore, while we will end up with more efficient properties for homeowners. There will be no great job retention outcome for the businesses that are not able to take advantage of this grant.”
“However, it is pleasing to see that if one of the listed primary measures has been installed, then a secondary measure would be eligible for “matched “ funding. The secondary measures include smart controls which again will add efficiency savings to the property.”
Do home owners need the scheme?
While making homes greener is one of the biggest parts of reducing green house gases. There is still a lot of research and development going on with different fuels to find the greenest way of providing heat and hot water. The techology is in the early stages at the moment. In the next 10 years we expect the technology to improve dramatically. Heat pumps and Hydrogen Boilers seem to be at the forefront of this at the moment.
Consumers with boilers should consider insulation and heat pumps to reduce the gas usage but also consider smaller changes to reduce emmissions and save money. Energy savings can be increased by simply:
- Installing smart thermostats
- Installation of thermostatic radiator valves on radiators
- Installing thermostats (heating and hot water)
- Installation of cavity wall insulation
- Reducing boiler flow temperature
- Installing weather compensation (compatible boilers only)
Our conclusion on the scheme
Although this scheme was set up to increase work for tradesmen, It seems that Plumbers have been mostly overlooked. Although it mentions Plumbing and Heating engineers, most plumbing and heating engineers would need to retrain into the renewables sector. They would also have to become Trustmark and MCS registered which is unrealistic in the timescales availble. Meaning that very few installers will benefit from this scheme.
However as a “green scheme” this is a great scheme which will help Consumers look into and see the imporance of heat pumps to the environment. Also consumers will start to look away from traditional heat sources to make the country more suistanable and may help speed up the goverments process of making the country net zero by 2050.
The secondary measures include appliance thermostats, hot water cylinder thermostats and insulation, smart thermostats delayed start thermostats, thermostatic radiator valves and zonal controls, while all of these provide energy savings and can lower bills as well as lowering emmisions, the requirement to do a primary measurement will mean that a lot of these will be installed incorrectly and not set up properly, meaning the full benefits will not be felt by the consumer.
So while we welcome this green home scheme, unfortunately we can not see how it will benefit installers to bounceback after the coronavirus. we are also deeply worried that the full benefits will not be passed on to the consumer. However the scheme will definetly push the country into thinking more about renewables and start the ball rolling for installers to start thinking about re training and consumers to start looking into renewable costs and benefits.