HOMEOWNERS will be given £5,000 in energy saving vouchers to help them insulate their homes.
The new policy is part of Rishi Sunak’s plans to create more than 100,000 green jobs and kickstart the economy after the coronavirus lockdown.
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The Treasury has announced details about the scheme – including when the vouchers will be sent to homeowners and how to apply for one.
Business and energy secretary Alok Sharma said the scheme will mean "hundreds of pounds off energy bills every year".
What are the vouchers?
The grants – confirmed on July 8 in the mini-Budget – will be part of a wider £3billion investment in green technology, with the UK aiming to go carbon neutral by 2050.
£1billion of this will be spent on revamping public buildings and social housing, while the extra £2billion will go towards the vouchers and making homes more energy-efficient.
Taking part in the scheme could save you more than £200 annually on your bills and reduce your carbon footprint by cutting 700kg of CO2 a year from your home alone.
The vouchers are worth up to £5,000 for homeowners. The government will cover at least two thirds of the cost that homeowners in England spend on green upgrades up to this amount.
This means a householder would pay £1,320 of a £4,000 bill for cavity wall and floor insulation for a semi-detached or end-terrace house, while the government would pay the rest of the bill costing £2,680.
But households on low incomes can receive vouchers covering 100% of the cost of the improvements, up to a maximum of £10,000.
How do I qualify?
Any owner occupiers or social or private landlords in England can apply.
New-build properties that have not been occupied before are not eligible.
People who qualify for the low-income scheme must receive at least one of the following benefits:
- Income based Jobseekers allowance (JSA)
- Income based Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)
- Income Support (IS)
- Pension Guarantee Credit
- Working Tax Credit (WTC)
- Child Tax Credits (CTC)
- Universal Credit (UC)
- Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- Attendance Allowance
- Carer’s Allowance
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
- Contribution based Jobseekers allowance (JSA)
- Contribution based Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)
- Housing benefit
Landlords can't apply for the low-income part of the scheme.
What was announced in the mini-Budget?
CHANCELLOR Rishi Sunak announced a £30billion “plan for jobs
The changes were outlined in what's been described as a "mini-Budget" following the coronavirus.
Here's what the chancellor announced:
- Young people hired by firms will get their wages subsidised by the government under its £2billion Kickstart Scheme
- House buyers will see stamp duty cut on homes up to £500,000 until next year – we've explained how it will work
- Households will get £5,000 in energy saving vouchers to help them insulate their homes – here's what you need to know
- Businesses will be given a £1,000 bonus for each employee they bring back from furlough
- Pubs and restaurant bills will be slashed by £10 a head in August
- VAT will be cut from 20 per cent to 5 per cent for businesses in the hospitality and tourism industry
How does the Green Homes Grant scheme work?
Homeowners and landlords must identify the work they are looking to cover to apply for the voucher.
You can do this by going to the Simple Energy Advice (SEA) website and get advice about which energy saving measure would suit your home best.
Based on information you provide about your home you'll be shown different options. These will include the cost of the work and the value of the savings it will provide each year.
You'll then be sent a list of tradespeople who are registered with TrustMark or Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) (schemes which list construction workers approved by the government) in your local area to carry out the work.
Tradespeople have to register for TrustMark or MCS accreditation themselves to take part in the scheme and benefit from the work.
You should get at least three different quotes for the work so you know you're getting the best value for money.
The vouchers will start to be issued from the end of September onward with details of how to apply for them to be announced soon.
You should only agree for the work to go ahead once your application for the voucher has been accepted.
The voucher must be redeemed and the work scheduled to be completed before 31 March 2021.
Be wary if you've been called saying you're eligible for a Green Homes Grant as fraud prevention scheme Cifas says it's received reports of scammers trying to con people out of money by pretending to be part of the scheme.
What can the money be spent on?
The vouchers will be for homeowners in England and will cover energy-saving measures that are either insulation or low carbon heat in the first instance.
Insulation measures include:
- Solid wall
- Cavity wall
- Flat roof
- Room in roof
- Insulating a park home
Low carbon heat measures include:
- Air or ground source heat pump
- Solar thermal (solar panels which can be used for heating water)
- Biomass boilers
If you use the voucher for any of the measures above, you can also use it to cover the following:
- Draught proofing
- Double or triple glazing when replacing single glazing
- Secondary glazing when in addition to single glazing
- External energy efficient doors when replacing single glazed or solid doors installed before 2002
- Heating controls
- Hot water tank thermostats and insulation
The voucher does not cover:
- A new extension or conversion
- Insulating a conservatory which has no fixed heating
- installing a new fossil fuel boiler such as gas, oil or LPG
Who can apply for one?
Homeowners and landlords, either social or private, in England can apply.
The government has said more than 600,000 homes will benefit from the scheme and it will support 100,000 jobs in green construction.
When you log on to the Simple Energy Advice (SEA) website to get advice, that's also where you apply for a grant.
The government hasn't said what date the scheme opens yet so we will update this article as soon as we are told.
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