THE government has decided to axe the Green Homes Grant Voucher Scheme in just four days.
The scheme, which has been plagued by difficulties since it launched last year, will close to new applications on 31 March at 5pm.
That means that anyone who wants to get their hands on the vouchers needs to get their application submitted by Wednesday.
The Green Homes Grants can be used for a range of energy saving home improvementsCredit: Getty
The Green Homes Grant provides families with a voucher worth £5,000 – or £10,000 for low-income households – to spend on energy-saving improvements in their home.
In November, the government said that the scheme would be extended until 2022, but in a shock announcement yesterday evening it was confirmed that it will now be stopping a year early.
A statement read: “Following a review, the Green Homes Grant Voucher Scheme launched last year will close to new applications on 31 March at 5pm.
“Applications made before the end of March deadline will be honoured and any vouchers already issued may be extended upon request.”
Applications for the vouchers are confusing and time consuming, and you need to get quotes for work before you can start.
That means homeowners need to get cracking as soon as possible if they want to make Wednesday’s deadline.
Here we outline who is eligible, what work can be done and how to apply:
What work is covered through the Green Homes Grant?
THE work that can be covered through the Green Homes Grant is split into “primary
To qualify for the scheme, you must be installing at least one of the following “primary” insulation or low carbon measures.
- Solid wall
- Cavity wall
- Flat roof
- Room in roof
- Insulating a park home
Low carbon heat:
- Air or ground source heat pump
- Solar thermal (solar panels which can be used for heating water)
- Biomass boilers
If you use the voucher for any of the above, you can also use it to cover the following “secondary” tasks:
- Draught proofing
- Double or triple glazing when replacing single glazing
- Secondary glazing when in addition to single glazing
- External energy efficient doors when replacing single glazed or solid doors installed before 2002
- Heating controls
- Hot water tank thermostats and insulation
The voucher does not cover the cost of:
- A new extension or conversion
- Insulating a conservatory which has no fixed heating
- installing a new fossil fuel boiler such as gas, oil or LPG
Who qualifies for a Green Homes Grant?
Any owner occupiers or landlords in England can apply for the £5,000 vouchers, although new-build properties that have not been occupied before are not eligible.
People who qualify for the low-income scheme (who get the bigger grant of up to £10,000) must receive at least one of the following benefits:
- Income based Jobseekers allowance (JSA)
- Income based Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)
- Income Support (IS)
- Pension Guarantee Credit
- Working Tax Credit (WTC)
- Child Tax Credits (CTC)
- Universal Credit (UC)
- Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- Attendance Allowance
- Carer’s Allowance
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
- Contribution based Jobseekers allowance (JSA)
- Contribution based Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)
- Housing benefit
Landlords can’t apply for the low-income part of the scheme.
How to apply for the scheme
The first step is to check you are eligible using the government website. Then need to check what work you could get done.
You can check which work you can get done by going to the Simple Energy Advice (SEA) website and get advice about which energy saving measure would suit your home best.
Based on information you provide about your home you’ll be shown different options. These will include the cost of the work and the value of the savings it will provide each year.
You will be sent a list of tradespeople who are registered with TrustMark or Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) (schemes which list construction workers approved by the government) in your local area to carry out the work.
Tradespeople have to register for TrustMark or MCS accreditation themselves to take part in the scheme and benefit from the work.
You should get at least three different quotes for the work so you know you’re getting the best value for money.
Once you’ve decided on a tradesman then you can apply for the vouchers on the Gov.uk website.
You should only agree for the work to go ahead once your application for the voucher has been accepted.
Be wary if you’ve been called saying you’re eligible for a Green Homes Grant as fraud prevention scheme Cifas says it’s received reports of scammers trying to con people out of money by pretending to be part of the scheme.
Green Homes Grant scheme: How to apply and how it works explained.