What’s Going On Here?

The £1.5bn Green Homes Grant was announced last year as part of the government’s pledge to “build back better” after the coronavirus crisis. However, there have been recent worrying reports that unspent funding will be lost.

What Does This Mean?

Back in July last year we explained how you (if you’re a homeowner) could get support from the Green Homes Grant to improve the energy efficiency of your home. As a recap, this means successful applicants receive up to two-thirds of the cost of insulation, heat pumps and other low-carbon improvements from the government.

Since the launch, the scheme has been reasonably popular, with polling showing that two-thirds of homeowners in England are interested in the Green Homes Grant and more than 100,000 applications have been made.

However, the scheme has been a victim of administrative disasters with only 22,165 grants worth £94.1 million having been issued. Then, earlier this month it was revealed that any unspent funding from the first tranche of the Green Homes Grant programme will not be rolled over to 2021-22, meaning 95% of the £1.5bn allocated to the scheme will be lost.

Why Should We Care?

There were high hopes for the scheme when it launched for good reason. UK homes are among the coldest and leakiest in Western Europe, and our built environment contributes around 40% of the UK’s total carbon emissions.

Decarbonising our buildings is a key part in the path to Net Zero. A well-executed, long-term green homes programme could support 190,000 green jobs through to 2030 across the UK – concentrated in areas that need them most.

The installed measures could reduce household energy expenditure by £7.5bn per year, particularly benefiting families most burdened by high energy bills and those vulnerable to cold and damp homes.

Be Curious

  • Submit an application (if it’s not too late) for a Green Home Grant here: Apply for a Green Homes Grant – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
  • Much quicker wins at home include switching to LED lightbulbs, turning your thermostat down a notch, asking for a smart meter from your energy supplier and water saving devices from your water supplier.  
  • And we’ve said it before but here we go again ???? – switch to a renewable energy supplier like Bulb, Octopus Energy, Ecotricity (also vegan) and Ovo Energy to name a few.
  • Use this simple guide to air source heat pumps  from the Energy Savings Trust
  • Read a letter sent to the prime minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer from the UK Green Building Council and 10 other NGOs, thinktanks and green organisations. It calls for them to deliver on green growth and not withdraw spending on Green Homes Grants.
  • Hear about the new “homes of the future” with boilers and hobs that run on hydrogen, rather than gas.
  • Explore the Climate Change Committee Sixth Carbon Budget and how decarbonising our buildings fits into the pathway. I’ll give you a hint – it’s a big chunk.