How to save money with the green homes grant scheme

In November 2020, the government in England announced they are extending their green home grants scheme by another year, to March 2022. 

The extension is great news for people who have been struggling to meet the installation deadline, and for people who hadn’t heard about the scheme until now!

Read on to find out more about the government green homes grant scheme; what it is, who is eligible and how you can apply.

What is the green homes grant scheme?

The purpose of the government green homes grant scheme is to help homeowners in England to make their homes more energy efficient. The grant will help you to cover the cost of installing low carbon heating systems, as well as energy saving measures such as double glazing or insulation.

See Martin Lewis, on ITV The Martin Lewis Money Show talk about the Green Home Grants Scheme

What is covered in the scheme?

The green homes grant covers the labour, material and VAT on the installation of new insulation and low carbon heating systems to help make homes more energy efficient. It cannot be used to replace existing insulation or heating systems. In addition to this it also covers improvements to windows and doors, and to the control and insulation of heating systems.

  • If you are on benefits or have a low income, the grant will cover the complete cost of installation up to £10,000. 
  • If you are not on benefits or low income you can claim the grant to cover two thirds of the cost of installation, up to £5,000. 

So for example, if you were installing a low carbon heating system that cost £7,500 you would pay £2,500 and the government would pay the remaining £5,000. 

In order to be eligible, all work must be completed by an approved Trustmark or Microgeneration Certification Scheme registered tradesperson. Work must also be completed by the deadline 31 March 2022.

How to apply

If you’re interested in applying for the green homes grant, you can do so online.

  • Go to SimpleEnergyAdvice.org.uk. This is a government endorsed service where you can check your eligibility for the scheme. You can also use it to locate local tradespeople who are approved to carry out work under the scheme.
  • Once you have checked your eligibility, get quotes for your work from approved tradespeople (like us) and apply for a voucher. You will need to have the tradespersons Trustmark license number, and the details of the property owner. Hassle Free Boilers is Trustmark accredited.
  • Your voucher will be emailed to you once your application has been processed successfully. You shouldn’t begin any work until you have the voucher.
  • After the work is completed, you can redeem your voucher. You will pay the installer for the portion of the invoice you are responsible for, and the government will pay the installer directly for the rest.

Keyring of a house with a key on it being held by a a hand in front of a real house

Who can apply?

The green homes grant is for homeowners. If you own a home which you live in, or you are a residential landlord then you can apply.

People who own new build homes that they are not yet living in are not eligible for the scheme. Commercial properties are also not eligible. 

If you are living in rented accommodation then you can’t apply for the scheme yourself. However, your landlord can, so it could be worth mentioning it to them.

You Must Install One Primary Improvement

To qualify for a green homes grant, homeowners must install a primary improvement to their homes.

You can then use the grant to install a secondary improvement. 

See below what qualifies as a primary and secondary improvement.

Flat plate solar thermal panels on a roof, surrounded by blue skies

What Are Primary And Secondary Measures?

Primary measures under the green homes scheme are new additions to your household to improve energy efficiency. These must take the form of either low carbon heat sources or insulation. Improvements to existing installations are not covered. 

Low carbon heat measures include things like:

  • Solar thermal heating system
  • Air source heat pumps
  • Ground source heat pumps
  • Biomass boiler
  • Hybrid heat pump

Insulation measures include things like:

  • Solid wall insulation
  • Cavity wall insulation
  • Under floor insulation
  • Loft insulation
  • Pitched roof
  • Room in roof
  • Park home

You are only able to get secondary measures if you have had a grant approved for primary measures. If you have a grant approved for primary measures, you can get up to the same amount again for secondary measures provided that the total grant does not exceed the maximum (£5,000 for most households, or £10,000 if on benefits or low income). 

Secondary measures are upgrades to windows and doors like:

  • Draught proofing
  • Double, triple or secondary glazing
  • Energy efficient replacement doors

And work on heating controls like:

  • Adding a hot water tank thermostat
  • Insulating your hot water tank
  • Smart heating controls
  • Thermostatic radiator controls

The above is not an exhaustive list and again, these must be new measures rather than improvements to existing ones.

Is there something similar in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?

The government green homes grant scheme is only applicable to homeowners in England. However, there are similar schemes which you can access if you are living in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland:

  • For homeowners and long term tenants (12 months or longer) living in Scotland, Warmer Homes Scotland offers grants to help people to stay warm. The Scottish government will cover the cost of energy saving measures like loft insulation and draught proofing. 
  • In Wales the Nest scheme offers free energy efficiency advice. You may also be eligible for free energy efficiency improvements like a new boiler or insulation if you are a homeowner receiving a benefit, or suffering with a chronic respiratory, circulatory or mental health condition.
  • The Affordable Warmth scheme in Northern Ireland offers grants of up to £7,500 to make energy efficiency improvements for low income households.

Unfortunately, our Solar Thermal Heating Solution is only available to homeowners in England.

What if I need planning permission?

Generally, solar thermal panels will be considered ‘permitted development’ and so you shouldn’t need to apply for planning permission.

Possible exceptions to this are if you are installing panels on top of a block of flats, or if you are installing your panels as a ‘stand alone’ installation away from your home. If in doubt, check with your local council.

Hassle Free Boilers will only be installing solar thermal panels on houses rather than flats.

Is it safe to get work done during the pandemic?

Provided that your installer is following the government’s guidelines, it should be safe to get work done during the pandemic.

The installer will need to ensure that they avoid entering your home wherever possible. If they do need to they should maintain social distancing, and take extra safety measures such as wearing a face mask, regularly washing their hands and coming into contact with as few people as possible.

All of the installers and engineers that we work with are taking all necessary precautions.

Why Solar Thermal Panels are a great option under the Green Homes Grant

We think that solar thermal panels are a great option because they are proven, reliable and low maintenance. Not only can they reduce your carbon heating footprint by as much as 100%, they also reduce usage of your boiler. You could meet 60-80% of your hot water needs by harnessing energy from the sun. This means your boiler won’t need to run as much and that you are protected from the rising cost of energy in this instance. 

Hassle Free Boilers are accredited by the green homes grant scheme, so you could get two thirds of the cost of your installation covered by the grant. Not only this, but if you take advantage of our Solar Thermal Heating Solution, we’ll throw in a brand new boiler too! Applying for a voucher only takes a few minutes.

How Much Money Could it Save You?

You could save up to an average of £360 per year on your energy bills.

Not only that but personal finance experts money.co.uk has researched if the available improvements on the grant can increase the value of a home.

They found that Solar Panels make the most significant increase in value to your home over the other 6 improvements they researched.

Solar panels can on average increase the value of your home by 14% or £34K. This is based on the average home in England being worth £248,271.

How to get solar thermal panels with the government green homes grant

The first thing you will need to do is check your eligibility for the green homes grant scheme. Once you know whether you are eligible you can start thinking about what improvements you want to make to your home!

What if I need to replace my central heating boilers?

There aren’t currently any government grants for replacement central heating boilers. The Boiler Scrappage scheme ended a while ago. However, some of the bigger energy companies are offering subsidised replacement boilers, under the Energy Companies Obligation scheme. People on certain benefits could qualify for this.

The green home scheme covers new installation of energy saving heating and insulation solutions rather than boilers. However, Hassle Free Boilers offer a free boiler when you take up our Solar Thermal Heating Solution, and this solution is eligible for the government green homes grant scheme! 

Our exclusive Solar Thermal Heating Solution means that you can get a new solar thermal system installed, and we’ll include a brand new Worcester Bosch boiler for free.

Solar Thermal Heating Solution – get a free boiler!

Solar thermal panels are classed as a primary installation under the green homes grant. 

This means that you can get your brand new solar thermal system installed, and two thirds of the cost will be covered by the grant (or 100% of the cost if you have a low income or are on benefits).

Our Solar Thermal Heating Solution is covered by the green homes grant, and includes:

  • Installation of solar thermal panels. Solar thermal panels will cover all of your hot water needs, and could save you around £360 on your gas bill each year.
  • Brand new Worcester Bosch boiler. This energy efficient boiler could help you reduce your carbon emissions by over 55%, and reduce your energy bill by up to 30%.
  • Kingspan cylinder. This stores the hot water from your new solar thermal panels.
  • HIVE smart controllers so you can take control of your heating.
  • HIES 10 year government backed warranty.

This package is worth £10,200 but if you get it on the scheme you will pay just £2,500, or nothing at all if you’re on benefits or have a low income. This is an exclusive offer, only available through Hassle Free Boilers.

We can even spread the cost over three years, interest free, at £68 per month. Or, if you would prefer to pay over a longer time period, we can also offer credit options over five years.

Take our survey to find out if you qualify or contact us to get your Solar Thermal Heating Solution.

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