In this guide you’ll get answers to the following questions:
What is the Green Homes Grant?
How long will the Green Homes Grant run for?
Who is the Green Homes Grant aimed at?
Who is eligible for the Green Homes Grant?
I live in a different part of the UK – can I apply for the Green Homes Grant?
How does the Green Homes Grant work?
How do I apply for the Green Homes Grant?
Can I claim for other energy-efficiency grants at the same time?
The Green Homes Grant was introduced in September 2020 to encourage homeowners and landlords in England to invest in energy efficient improvements to their properties. It provides grants in the form of a voucher to cover the cost of two-thirds of all eligible improvements, up to a maximum of £5,000 per household. Those on low incomes may be eligible for a voucher covering 100% of the cost of improvements up to £10,000 in total.
The scheme suffered from some early teething problems – the original deadline for grants has now been extended to 31 March 2022, which has made things more manageable as there’s several hoops to jump through in terms of getting quotes and applying for the scheme. The government has also improved its online find-an-installer tool to ensure only firms within a 30-mile radius are shown.
There’s also a £2 billion cap on total funding, so the scheme may close before the new cut-off point if it proves popular.
The grant is targeted at homeowners and landlords looking to offset the cost of selected energy efficient improvements to their properties, namely adding insulation or installing low-carbon heating. Once installed, homeowners can then look for financial assistance with a number of secondary improvements, including windows and doors, plus heating controls.
The scheme is open to English residents only and applies to three groups:
Homeowners, whether the home is owned freehold, long-leasehold or through a shared ownership scheme.
Park home owners on a residential site – including gypsy and traveller sites.
Residential landlords – including housing associations and local authorities – in the private or social rental housing sector.
No, the Green Homes Grant is only available for improving English properties. However, the devolved nations offer their own schemes – visit Welsh Energy, Home Energy Scotland, and Northern Ireland Government Services respectively.
The Green Homes Grant provides a voucher to help part-fund the cost of a range of energy efficiency improvements in your home. The government recommends following the advice at the Simple Energy Advice website to see what improvements are suitable.
Home improvements cover a range of energy efficiency measures, which are split into ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ measures. You must install at least one primary measure as part of your voucher.
For insulation, you can work on:
Solid wall (internal or external)
Under-floor (solid or suspended floor)
Flat or pitched roof
Room in roof insulation
For low carbon heat, you could have:
Air or ground source heat pump
Solar thermal heating system
Hybrid heat pump
In addition to one primary measure, you can use your voucher to help towards the cost of any of the following secondary measures – note, the amount you can claim for these must be less than or equal to the amount you receive for primary measures.
To improve your doors and windows, you could install:
Double or triple glazing (replacing single glazing)
Secondary glazing (on top of single glazing)
Energy efficient doors (replacing single or solid doors installed prior to 2002)
And to improve your heating controls and insulation, you could install:
Hot water tank thermostat
Hot water tank insulation
Heating controls (including smart heating)
The voucher will help to cover the costs of labour, materials and VAT. Work must be undertaken by a TrustMark-registered installer who has registered for the scheme but cannot be yourself or a member of your household or immediate family.
It’s a slightly long and convoluted process applying for the Green Homes Grant, which is why there’s no time like the present to get started. Here’s a summary of the steps you need to follow:
First, verify you’re eligible for the scheme by visiting the gov.uk Eligibility Checker online.
Next, decide which energy efficiency measure(s) you wish to install. Once done, you need to find a certified installer in your area who will be able to carry out the work – use the Simple Energy Advice website by entering your postcode and selecting the type of measure from the drop-down menu (make sure it’s one covered by the scheme as outlined above). Click Search to display a list of registered installers within your area.
Next, you’ll need to obtain at least one quote for the work – as always, it’s a good idea to get three quotes to make sure you’re not overpaying (remember, the voucher won’t cover the full cost of the improvements in most cases).
Once you have this quote, you can apply for the voucher through the government’s online application portal. You will need to supply your name and date of birth, plus – if applicable – the name and date of birth of anyone receiving benefits. You’ll need to input the quote and provide a copy of it, plus the TrustMark licence number of your chosen tradesperson.
If you’re planning multiple energy efficiency measures, you must apply for the primary measure first. If your application is successful, you’ll be emailed one voucher for each home improvement measure you’ve applied for.
Once you’ve received the voucher, work can commence (the voucher will not cover work that started before the date on the voucher). You may be charged a deposit, which should not be larger than the amount they usually charge and cannot be more than your expected contribution to the cost of the measures according to the quote they provided you with.
Also note that the clock starts ticking the moment you receive the voucher: it must be redeemed within three months from the date it was issued, or by 31 March 2022, whichever comes sooner. You can apply to extend the voucher at any time before it expires if necessary, but the 31 March 2022 date is the final cut-off.
Once the work is finished, your installer must provide you with:
a dated copy of an invoice which shows supply and installation costs of your chosen measures (this needs to be one invoice per measure)
any certification for energy efficiency improvement measures
a guarantee document from the installer
an MCS certificate and relevant manufacturer instructions (if you have installed a low carbon heating measure)
a Biomass Suppliers List (as long as your measure is a biomass-fuelled low carbon heating system)
You can then redeem your voucher – you’ll need your reference number, post code, email address, voucher number, final cost of the measure (including VAT) and a digital copy of your dated invoice. You’ll also need to confirm the work has been completed to your satisfaction, you have received all necessary documents (see above) and have paid your share of the costs if applicable. Once done, the grant is then paid directly to the installer on your behalf.
Once you’ve redeemed the vouchers after your primary measure has been installed, you can then redeem the vouchers for your secondary measure(s). You can apply for all the vouchers at the same time but remember all the work must be completed (and the vouchers redeemed) within three months of receiving them. While it’s tempting to stagger applications, don’t wait until you’ve completed the first measure before applying for more vouchers.
You cannot apply for a Green Homes Grant voucher to cover the cost of an improvement if it’s already received funding from the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme. However, you can claim the grant for a different energy efficiency improvement.
You can claim the grant and then apply for the Domestic Renewal Heat Incentive programme for a renewable heating installation – claim the Green Homes Grant voucher to help pay for the installation, then make sure you notify Ofgem you’ve used it when applying for accreditation for the RHI, as the grant will be deducted from your Domestic RHI payments.
Finally, if you’ve already received a grant from your local authority as part of the Local Authority Delivery Scheme then you cannot apply for a Green Homes Grant voucher.