What is the government home improvement scheme and how does it work?

1 October 2020, 13:42

The home improvements scheme is open for applications
The home improvements scheme is open for applications. Picture: Getty Images

What is the government's green voucher scheme 2020 and how can I apply? Find out everything...

The Green Homes Grant scheme is now open for homeowners in England to make energy-efficient improvements to their houses.

Outlined back in July, the voucher plan sees the government pay two-thirds of the cost of any green updates to the value of £5,000 per household.

This can include insulation, double glazing and heat pumps, but doesn’t cover gas boilers.

So, here’s everything you need to know about the green home improvement scheme…

Rishi Sunak announced the Green Homes Grant
Rishi Sunak announced the Green Homes Grant. Picture: PA Images

What is the Green Homes Grant?

The Green Homes Grant scheme will provide £2bn for home improvement projects as part of a wider £3bn government plan to cut carbon emissions.

This will see vouchers handed out to homeowners which can be used towards making specific energy-efficient improvements to homes.

You need to install at least one primary improvement to be eligible for the Green Homes Grant which include:

- Insulation, including solid wall, cavity wall, underfloor, loft or roof insulation

- Low-carbon heating, such as air-source or ground-source heat pumps, or solar thermal systems, which provide renewable ways of heating your home

You can then get up to the same amount for secondary improvements which include:

- Draught-proofing

- Double or triple glazing, or secondary glazing

- Energy efficient doors, where you're replacing single-glazed or solid doors installed before 2002

- Heating controls and insulation

Gas boilers are not covered by the scheme.

You can only receive funding for secondary improvements up to the amount of funding you get for the primary measures.

So if you receive £2,000 towards cavity wall insulation, you can only receive a maximum of £2,000 towards any secondary measures.

How can I apply for the Green Homes Grant?

It’s thought that 650,000 homes in England will be covered by the grant with both homeowners and landlords eligible.

Households in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland cannot apply for the scheme.

Firstly, you need to use the Simple Energy Advice (SEA) service to see if you’re eligible and check which energy efficiency improvements can be made to your home.

You'll then need to find TrustMark and/or Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) registered tradesperson to get the work done. It’s recommended you find at least three quotes before going ahead.

You can then apply online using the government website to obtain a voucher.

To complete step three, you’ll need:

- the name and date of birth of the property owner or owners

- the name and date of birth of anyone living in the property who is receiving benefits

- a quote for the work from a TrustMark-registered tradesperson

- the TrustMark licence number of your chosen tradesperson

Once the work is complete, you'll need a dated copy of the invoice provided by the installer to redeem the voucher.

The grant will be paid directly to the installer on your behalf.

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