Details of the government's much-anticipated energy efficiency grants have been announced today. £2 billion has been allocated for domestic energy efficiency upgrades and it is suggested there will be another £1 billion for schools, hospitals and public buildings. The Green Home Grant initiative will go live at the end of September.
There will be £500m in vouchers for low-income households (up to £10,000 per household) that meet certain criteria, a £500 million pot for local authorities to support fuel poor households and £1 billion that everyone can access to install at least one primary measure i.e insulation, heat pump or solar heat technologies. Double or triple glazing, energy-efficient doors, hot water tanks and heating controls can also be funded.
Any installers must be accredited by Trustmark and MCS, demonstrating a desire to ensure the quality of work and trustworthiness of contractor. We urge the government to make assurances on the work carried out if there are unforeseen issues down the line. We also hope Trustmark and MCS are in a position to process a potential influx of applications.
Local Authorities will be integral to the scheme and have more of a remit to tackle not just energy efficiency but fuel poverty as well. They will be able to use the funding to help households install measures quickly, including replacement boilers if needed.
We are actively encouraging local authorities to partner with community energy organisations and this funding creates a perfect opportunity to collaborate on identifying those most indeed of intervention. Community energy organisations are trusted intermediaries for community engagement and should be utilised as a wealth of information on the nuances of energy efficiency technologies.
We therefore ask that the criteria for the local-authority pot of the Green Home Grants particularly welcome projects where local authorities are working with community energy organisations.
We strongly welcome this scheme and hope it is the first of many such initiatives so to match the £9.2 billion pledge in the government's manifesto. There is still some way to go to demonstrate a similar level of desire to improve energy efficiency that is shown by some of our more southerly European neighbours who have pledged orders of magnitude higher funding to reduce demand, create warm homes and reduce carbon emissions.