On 8th July 2020, the Chancellor announced a Green Homes Grant available in England, Wales, and Scotland. This scheme enables landlords and homeowners to fund, or partially fund, costs of upgrading their homes’ energy performance.
By applying for the grant and using the Green Deal financial plan, this scheme offers people substantial help for house renovation projects. Not only will it save you a lot of cash on your renovations, it’ll help increase the value of your property AND slash energy bills, too. To find out more about how the scheme works and how it may apply to you, we’ve put together a short summary.
- How Can You Benefit?
- How to Apply to the Green Homes Grant
- Green Deal Assessment
- Renovating Your Home with the Green Homes Grant
- Limitations of the Grant
- More Useful Home Tips
How can you benefit from the Green Homes Grant?
Renovating your home is a great way to save on running costs as well as boost the future sale value.
If you’ve been postponing to make the changes that you wanted due to financial reasons, the new Green Homes Grant might give you boost you need to get started. For most households, this grant can cover up to two thirds of the total cost (up to £5,000). For low-income households, the government can cover up to 100% of the project (maximum £10,000).
Both homeowner residents and landlords can apply for the scheme. Although big house renovations are expensive investments, with two thirds covered by the Government, the deal is certainly worthwhile.
How can you apply the scheme?
Although the full details of the deal are yet to be provided, the energy-saving updates that could be covered include:
- Heating controls
- Mechanical ventilation
- Ground source/air source heat pumps etc.
- Building fabric
- Cavity wall insulation
- Loft insulation
Internal/external wall insulation
- Draught proofing
- Loft insulation
- Wall cavity insulation
- Double glazing
- Sealing improvements
Renewable energy generation
- Solar panels
- Heat pumps etc
- Individual wind power (in some areas)
Applying for the Green Homes Grant
The details for applying have yet to be released – but the scheme is anticipated to fully launch in Autumn 2020. The model is expected to be similar to the previous Green Deal scheme: you’ll get an assessment of works required, and a quote from tradespeople. You’ll then be provided with a voucher for your tradespeople that covers either some or all of the cost.
If you think your property would benefit from any of these instalments, you can contact Simple Energy Advice (if you’re based in England or Wales) and the Home Energy Scotland (if you’re based in Scotland).
Alternatively, if you’re unsure about how low your energy bills actually are, you can use the Energy Efficiency Calculator to find out where and how money can be saved.
When getting quotes for your energy efficient improvements, make sure your trader is registered with the TrustMark or Microgeneration Certification Scheme – otherwise you won’t be able to use your vouchers. It also gives you extra confidence that the work completed is of a high standard.
Financing Your Home Improvements for the Green Homes Grant
The previous Green Deal Scheme allowed you to take loans out, with the amount repaid through your electricity bill. It tied improvements to the property, not you personally – so if you moved, the responsibility for repayments transferred to the new residents. It was based on the estimated amount of savings gained through the energy efficient improvements.
If you need help financing the final third of your energy efficient improvements, consider different loan types. For small works, a credit card may suffice – especially if it’s on a 0% purchase period of 12 months or more. You can fund your improvements and pay them off without incurring interest. For larger amounts, a bank loan may offer decent interest rates at the moment. However, always work out if your estimated annual energy efficiency savings are worth paying the interest on a loan for.
Limitations of the Green Homes Grant
The Green Homes Grant sounds amazing – but it does come with some limitations. For example, there’s a list of primary and secondary works. To qualify for funding for the secondary types, you need to first do some primary works.
Primary measures include things like cavity insulation, or under-floor or roof insulation, air source heat pumps, and solar thermal installation. You’ll need to work on these measures first, before choosing secondary options such as double glazing, draught-proofing, water tank insulation, and energy-efficient door installation.
That means your total bill could be much higher than initially anticipated – but you’ll still only get help for the capped amounts listed above.
More Money-Saving Home Tips
There are tons of ways to save cash in and around your home! If you want to improve your energy consumption (and bills) right now, or want to reduce your household expenses, read these articles next.
This would come in very handy for the old house I live in.