On 30 September 2020, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) launched the Green Homes Grant, a £2 billion scheme aimed at improving the energy efficiency of residential properties in England. Under the scheme, both homeowners and residential landlords will be able to apply for a voucher towards the cost of installing energy efficient improvements to their property. The vouchers will cover two-thirds of the cost of qualifying energy efficiency or low carbon heating improvements, up to a maximum government contribution of £5,000 (or £10,000 for those on low incomes). Vouchers must be redeemed, and improvements completed by 31 March 2022.
The types of improvements where funding is available fall into two broad categories: Primary Measures and Secondary Measures. A voucher must be used to install at least one Primary Measure before any financial assistance will be provided to cover the cost of a Secondary Measure. Examples of Primary Measures are as follows:
- solid wall insulation (internal or external)
- cavity wall insulation
- under-floor insulation (solid floor, suspended floor)
- loft insulation
- flat roof insulation
- pitched roof insulation
- room in roof insulation
- insulating a park home
- air source heat pump
- ground source heat pump
- solar thermal (liquid filled flat plate or evacuated tube collector)
- biomass boiler
- hybrid heat pump
Secondary Measures include:
- draught proofing
- double or triple glazing (where replacing single glazing)
- secondary glazing (in addition to single glazing)
- energy efficient replacement doors (replacing single glazed or solid doors installed before 2002)
- hot water tank thermostat
- hot water tank insulation
- heating controls (such as, appliance thermostats, smart heating controls, zone controls, intelligent delayed start thermostat, thermostatic radiator valves)
Although BEIS recommend obtaining three quotes from certified installers, only one quote from a Green Homes Grant registered installer is required in order to apply for a voucher. Application does not guarantee approval, and BEIS advise that no works should begin until a voucher for those works have been issued. Any works that are started before the issue date cannot be claimed for.
BEIS will issue a separate voucher for each measure, and each voucher is only valid for the specific measure and property that has been applied for. Moreover, only the named applicant can use the voucher as they are not transferrable.
Vouchers will be valid for 3 months from the date they are issued or until 31 March 2022 (whichever is earlier). All vouchers must be redeemed before the validity period ends, although it is possible to request an extension at any time before your voucher has expired, unless the scheme has been closed.
If an installer requests a deposit, it cannot be larger than expected contribution of the homeowner or residential landlord to the cost of measures under the quote provided.
Given that BEIS has also launched a consultation on improving the energy performance of privately rented homes with the aim of upgrading as many of them as possible to EPC band C by 2030, this scheme is one that residential landlords may wish to take advantage of in order to fund any necessary improvements.
If you are considering applying for a voucher and would like legal advice, please do not hesitate to contact your usual Turcan Connell contact.