Announced as part of the emergency Summer Budget in July, the £3billion Green Homes Grant aims to help homeowners and landlords in England fund energy-saving improvements, as well as support thousands of trade jobs. Opening for applications from the 30th September, Jeni Browne explains how it works and how you can apply for vouchers.
The scheme offers vouchers to cover two-thirds of the costs for specific energy-saving measures, up to a limit of £5,000. So, if you were getting £6,000 worth of improvements done, you could receive a £4,000 voucher as a contribution to the costs! The introduction of the scheme is good news for landlords looking to improve their EPC rating; which as of April 2020 must be a minimum of E, regardless of when the tenancy started. There are currently proposals to raise the minimum EPC to C for all buy to let properties by 2030, which we’ll be sure to keep you updated on should this be the case!
What improvements do the Green Homes Grant vouchers cover?
To qualify for the voucher, you must be getting at least one of the primary low carbon heating or insulation improvements installed.
Low carbon heating improvements include:
- Solar thermal
- Biomass boilers
- Air or ground source or hybrid heat pump
Insulation measures include:
- Cavity wall
- Solid wall
- Room in roof
- Flat or pitched roof
- Insulating a park home
By having one (or more) of the above works completed, you can qualify to use the grant voucher to assist in covering costs for a secondary energy-saving measure. These include:
- Hot water tank thermostats and insulation
- Heating controls
- Draught proofing
- Double/triple glazing (only to replace singled glazed windows)
- Secondary glazing (in addition to single glazing)
- External energy-efficient doors (replacing either single-glazed or solid wood doors installed before 2002)
How do I apply for the Green Homes Grant voucher?
Having reported on the scheme since its announcement back in July, we’re delighted to say that the scheme opened on the 30th September!
To apply for the vouchers, visit the Government’s dedicated Green Homes Grant website. Here you can check if you’re eligible for the scheme, and which energy-saving improvements might be suitable for your home. You can choose which improvements you’d like to make and get an estimate of how much the works will cost, and see a list of registered installers for the scheme who will be able to give you a full quote for the works. Then you can apply for the voucher.
All vouchers must be redeemed by and the work completed by 31st March 2022. While this sounds like a long time, it’s best not to leave these things to the last minute as you will need to use an approved contractor and they will no doubt get booked up fast.
We know many were disappointed by the restrictions in place on this scheme about which improvements were included. However, for many, remains an excellent incentive to make properties more environmentally friendly and save you and/or your tenant’s money on energy bills!
As always, if you would like any advice or assistance with securing a buy to let mortgage, or would like to know how EPC ratings affect your mortgage options, please do get in contact with our team on 0345 345 6788 or email email@example.com.
This article was updated in December 2020.