We have some fantastic news for homeowners who are becoming increasingly eco-conscious and looking to save some money on your energy bills. The government has recently decided to help homeowners in England by providing money to spend on eco-friendly home improvements. This money will be presented in the form of a voucher. The scheme will be launched before the end of September 2020 and will be acquired from a huge government-funded pot of £2bn. Homeowners in England will be able to claim for vouchers up to £10,000 for materials to insulate and heat their properties more sustainably. The figure that homeowners are eligible for will depend on their financial circumstances. For example, if you live in a low-income household and you are in receipt of specific benefits, you may be able to receive a higher amount.
A Green Homes Grant will be available to all homeowners in England, including landlords. However, landlords will not qualify for higher funding, so will be limited to a voucher of up to £5,000. Chancellor Rishi Sunak feels that the provided funding should cover most, if not all of the required installation costs. He also suggested that the scheme will save homeowners as much as £600 per year on their energy bills. However, there are a couple of catches. The scheme ends in March 2021, so you only have six months to complete all your home’s necessary work. New builds that are yet to be occupied are not eligible for any part of the grant. Also, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are not participating in the scheme, so only properties in England are eligible.
When the scheme begins, you can apply via the ‘Simple Energy Advice’ website. This website is very informative, it offers advice regarding what energy-efficiency improvements may be made to your home. On the website, you will also find the voucher amount that you will be entitled to, and which building suppliers you can use in your local area. Anyone hired to carry out the work on your home must be TrustMark approved or registered with the Microgeneration Certification Scheme. You will need to get three quotes from different suppliers to guarantee that you are getting the best value for money.
So, what exactly can the money be spent on? The scheme defines that vouchers must be used only for ‘primary’ or ‘secondary’ measures.
Primary measures include insulation or low carbon-heating. For instance: solid wall, underfloor, cavity wall, roof or loft insulation and heating such as air/ground source heat pumps, solar thermal and biomass boilers.
Secondary measures are installations such as draught-proofing, upgraded windows, external energy-efficient doors, heating controls and hot water tank thermostats.
Make sure that you make the most of this fantastic opportunity to make home improvements – it may also help you sell your home for a higher value when you come to it!