The UK Government’s Green Homes Grant Scheme starts soon, but should you be expecting to get anything from it? We break down the scheme and see what it’s really offering.

What is the Green Homes Grant Scheme?

The Green Homes Grant Scheme is a new initiative from the UK government starting 30th September 2020. It is intended to provide English homeowners with money to improve their home’s energy efficiency. Households can claim money to put towards the cost of upgrades like installation, efficient heating and double glazing.

The scheme is part of the government’s work to reach its 2050 environmental goals. There are also economic reasons behind it – it’s no accident that the scheme has been launched in the aftermath of the UK-wide lockdown. As well as helping homeowners to cut emissions, the UK government is hoping to help people save money on household bills and protect trade jobs in a time of recession.

How much money could the GHG save me?

The government has set aside £2 billion to fund the Green Homes Grant, with up to £10,000 available to individual households. Only owner-occupied homes and park homes are eligible to receive any money and most homeowners who qualify for the scheme will be able to claim no more than £5,000.

The reality of the scheme is that the criteria are too restrictive to make it useful to many people in the UK. Not only are the products covered by the scheme severely limited, but the eligibility restrictions will exclude many hopeful buyers. The full £10,000 is only available to people who are receiving at least one income-based or disability benefit. Given that the home must be owner-occupied or a park home, many who would otherwise qualify for the full amount based on benefits will be ineligible.

Most homeowners will be able to claim up to £5,000 towards the cost of their improvements, with the expectation being that those who are able to pay some of the cost themselves will do so. Unfortunately, this means that the sum of money available for many homeowners is unlikely to make a big impact on their costs, and it can only be of any help if they’re investing in a small number of specified improvements.

What does the Green Homes Grant Scheme cover?

The Green Homes Grant Scheme covers a small number of home improvements in a two-tier system. Primary measures include various insulation types and energy-efficient heating. Other energy efficiency upgrades, such as double glazing, will only be covered if claimed alongside primary measures.

The primary measures included in the scheme are limited to insulation and heating as the government tries to focus on the largest energy-saving measures. Many modern homes are already fully insulated, though older homes stand to benefit. The heating options are varied, including low-carbon heating, ground source pumps and solar heating, according to This Is Money.

There are further restrictions on the scheme’s secondary measures, which will only be funded alongside at least one primary measure. Importantly, the scheme is not intended to allow homeowners to replace all existing windows and doors.

Disappointingly, funds for double or triple glazing will only be made available to homeowners who are replacing single glazed windows.

The restrictions for doors are even more stringent, with the scheme only covering the replacement of those installed before 2002. Other changes, such as heating controls and hot water tanks, may also be eligible as secondary measures.

If you’re looking to upgrade your windows and doors, you’re unlikely to get any help from this latest scheme, regardless of the economic and environmental benefits of the work.

Energy-efficient changes without the GHG

The Green Homes Grant Scheme is severely limited in scope, limiting the benefits to homeowners looking into heating solutions. It does nothing if you want to improve your home in other, meaningful ways.

The scheme’s restrictions on double glazing and doors mean that you have to be replacing specific installations even to qualify for secondary measures. While it might be frustrating to learn that you can’t benefit from the scheme if you’re planning on replacing your double glazing or getting a more efficient front door, there are still plenty of reasons to go ahead with the work.

KLG’s windows all score at least A+ in their energy ratings despite their low importance in the GHG Scheme. Even if you can’t receive funding towards the work, more efficient windows and doors will still save money on your energy bills and keep your home warm.

The scheme was a false hope for the fenestration industry, creating unnecessary confusion before its details were announced. Months later, it has transpired that there was never going to be any real benefit from it, anyway.

The good news is that energy-efficient windows and doors are still just as worthwhile as they always have been for homeowners who want to increase their property’s efficiency and comfort. The disappointment of this scheme shouldn’t deter you from making the improvements you’ve been thinking about.

Get a quote today to start the process for your new windows or doors.