The Budget 2021 has been published and chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled key announcements for the housing sector, but there is a shared sense of disappointment that the Budget doesn’t go further towards helping homeowners make green home improvements. There are very positive announcements in the form of the stamp duty holiday extension, and the Green Homes Grant (reported to be in line for the scrap this month) has not been referenced.
Rishi Sunak delivered his 60-minute Budget announcement on Wednesday to a socially distanced House of Commons, Sunak confirmed details of a Net-Zero Innovation Fund and provided more certainty around the climate impact of the National Infrastructure Bank. But he failed to mention the Green Homes Grant and many still await key details on the launch date for the Help to Build scheme.
Green Growth For The UK
For sustainability and energy professionals, some positives can be taken from the fact that Sunak confirmed and announced several important green economy services, following mounting pressure on the Treasury to ensure that its approach is consistent with the UK’s long-term climate and environmental targets.
Specifically, the Chancellor confirmed details of a new Net-Zero Innovation Portfolio of finance totalling £1bn, which will help provide funding for low-carbon technologies and systems. Sunak also announced separate funding to support Scotland’s transition away from traditional fossil fuels, and the Chancellor provided further details on the National Infrastructure Bank, which will support the UK’s goal of hitting net-zero carbon by 2050.
Additionally, Sunak has committed a further £375m for a new Future Fund: Breakthrough scheme. The fund will work with the private sector to invest in “high-growth, innovative UK firms” including those in cleantech.
Green Homes Grant Scheme Given A Stay Of Execution
An update on the Green Homes Grant, following the Government’s decision to pull the bulk of its £2bn initial funding, was top of the Budget Wishlist for many trade bodies and green campaign groups. However, the scheme did not get mentioned in the speech itself, and the full Budget 2021 document released by the Government makes no reference to energy efficiency in buildings.
The scheme was announced last September and was set to run until March 2021 but it was extended by a further 12-months and is now available until March 2022 but the scheme has come under increasing pressure following recent government funding cuts, administrative delays and complaints from homeowners and businesses about the scheme.
Despite rumours that the scheme could be pulled altogether at the end of the this month, the Government has confirmed that funding for the scheme will remain in place for 2021/2022.
Only £320 million is set aside for the new tax year, so while the scheme doesn’t end until 31st March 2022, if you are looking at making your home more energy efficiency this year like thousands of others who already have then it’s worth getting your free quotation today.
Looking to get your free quotation to apply for the Green Homes Grant?
Call our team on 0808 222 0 111 and we will be more than happy to help provide you with a bespoke quote for your property that will allow you to apply for the Government Grant