The government’s £2 billion energy efficiency voucher scheme, launching today, is expected to be oversubscribed, with more than three in five homeowners interested in participating.
The Green Homes Grant Scheme, part of the coronavirus relief package announced in Chancellor Rishi Sunak's Summer Statement, will give homeowners vouchers of up to £5,000 to fund two-thirds of the cost of energy efficiency and heating upgrades. Fuel poor and low-income households can qualify for grants of up to £10,000.
62% of homeowners expressed interest in the scheme, a poll commissioned by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) and conducted by YouGov found. However, just 600,000 vouchers are available, suggesting the scheme will quickly run out of money when it opens today.
The poll found that a quarter of homeowners are “very interested” in the scheme. If just those households apply, the scheme will receive six million applications—10 times the number of vouchers available.
Those with poor energy efficiency measures in their accommodation were more likely (66%) to be very or fairly interested in the scheme. However, more than half the respondents who own or rent one of these inefficient homes hadn’t heard of the scheme.
Jess Ralston, analyst at the ECIU said: “With England’s housing stock in such a bad way—over half (52%) are below the government’s EPC band C target—there’s lots of work to be done, so it’s not surprising the Green Homes Grant looks to be popular amongst the public.
“This can only be good news for consumers and traders alike as bills will be reduced and jobs created all over the country, whilst also benefitting the environment by reducing carbon emissions: installing energy efficiency and low carbon heating really is a win-win scenario, and hopefully something that will continue.”
The scheme is expected to help participating households save an average of £200 a year on their energy bills and cut their annual carbon emissions by as much as 700kg, according to estimates from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). It will also support up to 100,000 jobs across England.
Households participating in the scheme must install at least one primary efficiency measure, including solid wall, underfloor, cavity wall, loft or flat roof insulation; air or ground source heat pumps; solar thermal heating systems; or biomass boilers. They can also add on a secondary measure, including draught-proofing, double or triple glazing, external energy-efficient doors, heating controls, or hot water tanks thermostats or insulation.
Works funded by the scheme need to be completed by 31 March 2021.
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