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What does the Green Homes Grant mean for me?
The government have created this scheme to help improve homes across England to make them more energy-efficient. This scheme is perfect for homeowners as the goverment is providing support covering up to £5,000 per eligable household, and up to £10,000 for low income eligable households.
Throughout the pandemic and resulting lockdown, the Government have implemented several different schemes to try and support as many people as they can across the country. The repossession order pause and the furlough scheme were incredibly helpful for struggling homeowners and have made an enormous difference, but what is the Green Homes Grant, and how can it benefit you? We Buy Any House look into the scheme and who can apply.
In July, the Chancellor announced plans to put aside £2 billion in the economic statement to add green upgrades to houses. At the end of August, you were able to use a Government eligibility checker tool to see what improvements you may qualify for when the vouchers for these upgrades become available. A specific date hasn’t been announced yet, but the application process is due to start at the end of September.
How does the grant work?
Homeowners that qualify for the vouchers will be able to apply for them to contribute or potentially cover in full, the cost of improvements to make your house more energy-efficient. The idea behind the scheme is to not only make houses greener and to promote the energy-efficient methods but to help boost the economy after the lockdown, which saw a considerable drop and resulted in a recession. It will also help to create jobs that will further strengthen the economy and aim to reduce the unemployment numbers that increased so suddenly in the lockdown where businesses were unable to support their workers.
What improvements can I make with the vouchers?
There are several requirements to be able to move forward with the Green Homes Grant. Firstly, to qualify for the vouchers, you will need to be implementing –
Insulation, whether it’s loft/roof insulation, solid walls, or cavity walls
Low carbon heating that provides renewable ways to heat your homes, such as solar systems, air-source, or ground-source pumps.
If your house already has these, you can look into improving them so you would still qualify for the vouchers, by replacing certain aspects or adding more insulation.
When you qualify for the vouchers with these first improvements, you can then also move forward with other green improvements, such as –
Double or triple-glazing (it’s important to know that this is only covered if your windows are currently single-glazed, you won’t qualify if you’re replacing current double-glazing)
Energy-efficient doors (you will need to be replacing doors that were fitted before 2002 to qualify)
Heating control and insulation, such as hot water tank thermostats, smart heating controls, thermostatic radiator valves, delayed-start thermostats, and zone controls.
For these improvements, you will only be able to get vouchers for the same amount as the funds you receive for the insulation or low carbon heating. This means that you may need to put some money yourself towards the second set of improvements if you’re looking to make more changes of those kinds.
These vouchers are expected to cover around 2/3 of the cost of these improvements, with a limit of £5,000 per household. For households with a lower income, you may qualify for the full amount to be covered with these vouchers up to £10,000. The government are hopeful that these improvements will save homeowners hundreds of pounds a year on their electricity bills, and help make the country more energy-efficient.
Who will qualify for the vouchers?
It’s been confirmed that any homeowner, including those of shared ownership properties, will be able to apply for the scheme. Flat owners can also qualify, but some homeowners that have any shared freehold lease will likely need to get permission from all of the other freeholders. Landlords are also able to apply. Tenants renting property don’t qualify but can discuss with their landlord about applying and potentially contribute if you’re a long-term tenant.
Who doesn’t qualify?
It has now been confirmed that new-build domestic properties and any properties that aren’t domestic, such as commercial buildings, will not qualify for the vouchers. Currently, this is all the information that the Government has released and there hasn’t been a clarification about how the approval process will work for qualifying applicants. This is still being discussed, and once we’ve got more information, we’ll make sure to update it here for you.
How do I know if I qualify?
You can check your eligibility online and see what improvements you’re likely to get approved for if you know what you’d like to do. Currently, there is no guarantee, so you may find that you’re eligible but don’t get approved for the vouchers further into the application process. It’s best not to put too much faith into this for now until you get officially approved when the scheme opens officially to avoid any disappointment. You can check your eligibility on the site by entering some basic questions, such as where you live, if you’re the owner, if anyone in the property receives any benefits and if the house is a new-build, along with some other information. Your energy performance certificate will also be assessed, as well as the current state of your property in regards to insulation, glazing and heating.
After you’ve gone through the process on the site, you will be given an idea of what improvements your property will benefit from and a rough outline of potential price so you can see what you would need to contribute and what would be covered by the vouchers. It will also give you an estimate of what these changes could save you annually. It has also been connected with local businesses around your area, so you can look into potential contractors that could carry the work out for you once you’ve been fully approved for the vouchers.
This scheme aims to give homeowners an excellent opportunity to improve their houses long-term and boost their energy efficiency. Energy efficiency is incredibly important to potential buyers, so these improvements could make a huge difference if you’re looking to sell in the coming months. If you want some advice about selling or an idea of how quickly you’d be able to sell after completing these improvements, get in touch with We Buy Any House today for your free cash offer!