A new government scheme, to be announced today, will issue households with vouchers of up to £5k to fund energy efficiency upgrades.
Under the Green Homes Grant scheme, the government will pay for at least two-thirds of the cost of efficiency improvements like loft and wall insulation, double-glazing and new boilers. For instance, the Treasury says that a £4,000 cavity wall and floor insulation installation would cost a homeowner just £1,320, with the government contributing the remaining £2,680.
Households on the lowest incomes will see the government cover the full cost of efficiency improvements, up to £10,000.
Homehoulds will also benefit from a reduction in their energy bills, with households projected to save up to £200 annually.
When the scheme launches in September, homeowners will be able to apply online. They’ll be shown the efficiency measures that qualify and be directed to accredited local tradespeople and suppliers to arrange for the work to be completed. When the tradesperson has provided a quote and the work has been approved, the homeowner will be issued with the grant to fund it.
The scheme is part of the government’s £2 billion investment in improving the efficiency of the UK’s ageing and leaky housing stock and creating skilled jobs to stimulate the economy in the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis.
However, it’s short of the £9.2 billion the Conservative Party pledged to spend on efficiency upgrades over the next Parliament in its December election manifesto.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: "As Britain recovers from the outbreak it’s vital we do everything in our power to support and protect livelihoods across the nation.
"Our Green Homes Grant will not only cut families’ bills by making their homes more energy efficient, it will also kick start our economy by creating thousands of green jobs – and supporting those skilled tradespeople who are ready to work."
The government has set a target of boosting as many homes as possible to an energy performance certificate (EPC) rating of C by 2035. However, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has warned this will require up to £65 billion in investment.
However, that expenditure will be necessary if the UK is to slash its carbon emissions and meet its net-zero goal by 2050. The Coalition for the Energy Efficiency of Buildings (CEEB) has estimated that failure to upgrade our buildings—currently responsible for 30% of our carbon emissions—could lead the country to miss its climate targets by 40% within a decade.
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