Being environmental – friendly is also cost-effective. Now the Government’s new initiative to encourage eco-friendly home features will help you upgrade your home. If you are either a homeowner or a landlord, you may be eligible for a voucher to fund the energy efficient or low carbon heating home improvements. It is a great chance to introduce energy-efficient and eco-friendly solutions to your home. The grant is to cover two-thirds of the cost of qualifying improvements with a maximum value of £5,000. Under certain circumstances, which come down to being on specific benefits and low income, you can apply for a voucher worth up to £10,000.00 to cover full work costs.
To use the scheme, you will have to submit an on-line application describing the planned scope of work. As a part of the process, you will need to obtain quotations from trusted business in your area (registered with TrustMark or certified under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme). Once the scheme is up and your work has been approved, the voucher will be granted. However, there is a relatively short time to use it. You must arrange improvements and make sure to have them completed by the end of March 2021. As explained, the installer will request and receive payment from the government for the costs covered by the voucher.
Improvements covered by the grant
The scheme only applies to new improvements. Therefore, unfortunately, you cannot have replaced existing elements using the voucher. Neither you can use your voucher for works done before your successful application. The improvements are grouped into two categories: primary and secondary measures. Under the scheme, it is obligatory to use a voucher to cover at least one of the primary measures, which are insulation measures and low carbon heating measures. Consequently, you can also apply for the funds to install any of the second measures. However, the overall amount you get for the primary measurements cannot be fewer than the one you get towards secondary measurements. The Government website shows a specific classification.
Primary insulation improvements refer to insulating:
- solid wall, cavity wall, subfloor
- loft, roof
- park home
Primary low carbon heat measures refer to installing:
- air or ground source heat pump
- solar thermal
- biomass boilers
Secondary measures are:
- draught-proofing – by fitting the so-called ‘draught excluders’ you prevent cold air coming in and, at the same time, you keep warm in the house. It can also be considered as a decorative element.
- Replacing existing single-glazed windows with double/triple glazing ones.
- Adding secondary glazing to single glazing
- Installing external energy-efficient doors (replacing single glazed or solid doors installed before 2002)
- Installing heating controls
- Installing hot water tank thermostats and insulation
Additionally, as a part of the measure, the subsidy can be claimed on professional services to comply with standards, some contractor costs or work enabling retrofit.
Please be alert that not all items are qualified. Since the scheme aims to reduce energy use and/or lower the amount of carbon dioxide produced, you cannot use your voucher arbitrarily.
- Your property is in England
- You owe the property, or you are a landlord
- It is not a new build property which has not yet been occupied
- You are not already a beneficent of a grant as part of the Local Authority Delivery Scheme
Application service is not available yet.
Applications will open at the end of September 2020.
You can, however, visit Simple Energy Advice (SEA) website to check:
- your eligibility
- what improvements can be made
- authorised organisations to obtain your quotation
- average costs of works you wish to carry out
You can find there a simple guide and use their few-minute survey to check your current home energy efficiency and what improvements are advised.