How to make the most of the Green Homes Grant

The Green Homes Grant is a government scheme that allows residential property owners to apply for subsidiary vouchers to pay for eligible energy-efficiency improvements on their homes. The vouchers can potentially contribute up to two-thirds of the total costs.

The scheme is intended to motivate homeowners to adopt the installation of home insulation (including loft and roof insulation) and renewable heating systems, including heat pumps.

The highest voucher that can be awarded is £5,000 or £10,000 for low-income households. The grants deadline is the 31st of March 2021.

Green Homes Grant eligibility criteria

In order to qualify for the scheme, applicants have to meet the following criteria:

  • Own your own home.
  • Plan on installing an eligible energy-efficiency improvement into your current property.
  • Hire a local contractor that is Trustmark accredited and MCS certified.

What Types of things can the Green Homes Grant be used for?

The Green Homes Grant can be used to improve the energy efficiency of your home, this means the following can be undertaken taking advantage of the scheme:

  • Roof, wall, and underfloor insulation
  • Installation of air source and ground source heat pumps
  • Installation of solar thermal
  • Installation of biomass boilers (unfortunately not gas boilers)

Unfortunately, the scheme does not include traditional high carbon forms of heating such as gas combi boilers or oil boilers. To the dismay of boiler manufacturers, both have been under consistent fire, with the government talking of a potential ban on gas boilers and high carbon liquid fossil fuels over the next decade.

The scheme can also be used on other energy saving tasks, including:

  • Installation of double glazing
  • Installation of energy-efficient doors
  • Installation of smart thermostats

What is the Renewable Heat Incentive?

The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (Domestic RHI) is a government financial incentive to promote the use of renewable heat. Households both on and off the grid can apply for the scheme.

You can benefit from the RHI with the installation of a heat pump, biomass boiler, solar thermal and particular cooker stoves.

You’ll receive RHI cash payments quarterly over seven years. The amount you receive will depend on a number of factors.

How to make the most of the Green Homes Grant & Renewable Heat Incentive

If you are considering the installation of a heat pump, you can take advantage of two government schemes: the green homes grant and the renewable heat incentive, here is the process:

  1. Begin with an audit of your home’s insulation

In order for a heat pump to be viable, you need to ensure your homes adequately insulated. Begin by checking the insulation, making sure your insulation is optimum will ensure your heat pump will work as efficiently as possible, even during the winter months for a reasonable cost.

  1. Apply for the Green Homes Grant for Insulation

The Green Homes Grant can be used for a variety of insulation improvements including wall, floor, and loft insulation. By following the recommendations provided on the Simple Energy Advice website, you could be approved for vouchers to help towards the cost of substantial home insulation work.

The Simple Energy Advice website
The Simple Energy Advice website is where you check your eligibility.
  1. Use the Renewable Heat Incentive to acquire a renewable heating system

Once your home’s insulation has been taken proper care of, you can then reap the rewards of heating your home with an energy-efficient system. To do this, you can apply for the renewable heat incentive.

Applying for the Green Homes Grant will mean you could potentially receive up to £5,000 towards insulation and still receive the full RHI amount to benefit from the full tariff.

Another option is to use the Green Homes Grant to decrease the initial installation costs of the installation. In this situation, the amount of the voucher will be reimbursed via the RHI payments, decreasing the total sum available to you.

For example, if you apply for a Green Homes Grant for £3,000 to help with the upfront heat pump costs, you could save that figure on the upfront costs and as a result, your RHI payments will decrease by the same amount e.g. £3,000.

How do you apply for the Green Homes Grant?

To apply for the Green Homes Grant scheme, follow these steps:

  • Go to the Simple Energy website to verify if you meet the criteria for the grant and which green home improvements are appropriate for your property.
  • Select a local installer with the correct accreditations. The same website has a directory of such people in your area.
  • Apply for the Green Homes Grant (the scheme started accepting applications at the start of September).
  • After you receive approval and have a valid voucher, the contractor you chose will deduct the voucher amount from their original quote. The tradesperson will then submit the voucher in order to receive that portion of the payment from the government.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Green Homes Grant available if I am building a new property?

Nope, the scheme is designed with the intention of making current properties more energy efficient.

How much can I get through the Green Homes Grant?

It is largely determined by the type of energy efficiency improvements you want to make on your home. The majority of properties are able to claim as much as £5,000 and those with low incomes could be entitled to £10,000.

How do you apply for the Green Homes Grant scheme?

Before applying, it is definitely worth taking the time to check you are eligible for the grant, once you do this, you can then begin seeking quotes from accredited local tradespeople.

Do you apply for the grant after or before installation?

Yes, it is important to apply for the grant before choosing a tradesperson or the type of work, since you will need to know how much help you will receive (in the form of a voucher).

Can you claim both the Green Homes Grant and the Renewable Heat Incentive?

The great thing is that you can apply for both the Green Homes Grant and the Renewable Heat Incentive. In order to do this, you have the following two options:

You can apply for the Green Homes Grant to help improve the energy efficiency of your home, to pay for the likes of insulation. Then you can apply for the RHI in order to pay for a new renewable heating system e.g. a heat pump and reap the rewards of the total tariff payment spread over 7 years. This pathway enables you to benefit from both schemes to advance your homes green credentials.

The Green Homes Grant can be used to help towards to the initial installation costs of eligible renewable heating appliances e.g. heat pumps. If you pursue this option, your RHI payments will be reduced to take into account the Green Homes Grant.