The UK Government has confirmed that the Green Homes Grant will close to new applications on Wednesday 31st March 2021 after the scheme was pulled over the weekend.
In a statement released by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) over the weekend, it was revealed that suppliers and households will have until 5pm on Wednesday to finalise their applications.
The £1.5bn Green Homes Grant only launched in September 2020 and was designed to help homeowners afford energy-efficient home improvements, to help lower their emissions and energy bills.
It had been set to run until 31 March 2022, but it has now been confirmed that the scheme has been scrapped by the government, having reached just 10% of the 600,000 homes chancellor Rishi Sunak promised would be improved.
Vouchers already issued can be extended upon request, BEIS confirmed, however extensions will not be automatic.
Why Is the Green Homes Grant Being Scrapped?
The Green Homes Grant has been blighted by problems since its launch. These include homeowners reporting issues with the application process, administrators being slow to distribute vouchers, and tradespeople reportedly being left out of pocket for completed work.
Reports circulated in February that the government might have announced the winding down of the scheme in the March Budget. But having survived the Budget, the government announced on Saturday 27 March that it will be scrapped by the end of March.
Applications made before the end of March deadline will be honoured, the government has confirmed.
The £320m which had previously allocated for the grant this year will now go into a programme administered by local authorities, targeted at lower income households.
Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said the funding boost takes the Government’s total energy efficiency spending for this financial year to £1.3bn. This support, he said, will give installers “the certainty they need to plan ahead, create new jobs and train the next generation of builders, plumbers and tradespeople.”
Nevertheless, the Conservative Party had pledged £9.2bn to energy efficiency this term, and the £1.3bn figure is still £0.7bn short of the pot originally allocated for the Green Homes Grant alone.
Through the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution and the Energy White Paper, the Government has set how it plans to decarbonise the nation’s buildings, including its aim to deploy 600,000 heat pumps a year by 2028, and to get as many homes as possible to Energy Performance Certificate Band C by 2035.
Emissions from the UK’s domestic building stock notably account for around one-quarter of annual national emissions each year. The Climate Change Committee has repeatedly cited energy inefficient homes, dependent on fossil heating, as a key hurdle on the road to net-zero.
How Do I Apply For My Voucher?
- Check your eligibility
- Check what energy efficiency or low carbon heat improvements may be suitable for your home
- Find certified installers in your area that are able to carry out the work, such as ourselves
- Apply for the voucher by 5pm, 31 March 2021
Green Homes Grant vouchers will remain valid for three months from the date they are issued, or until 31 March 2022, whichever is earlier. This will be the case even if you apply on Wednesday 31 March.