GOING GREEN Martin Lewis explains how to get £5,000 green homes voucher
MARTIN Lewis is urging thousands of households to check if they’re eligible for a £5,000 Green Homes Grant voucher.
The Green Homes Grant gives families money to spend on energy-saving measures around their home, such as insulation or a better boiler.
Vouchers worth up to £10,000 will be available to some of the poorest families. The government claims the initiative could save households more than £200 annually on energy bills, as well as reducing their carbon footprint by cutting 700kg of CO2 a year. With the scheme due to open this month, MoneySavingExpert founder Martin Lewis has explained how you can apply.
Speaking on his Martin Lewis Money Show, which aired last night on ITV, he said: “The scheme, which was announced in July, will be available in England only and applications for it will open at the end of September. “It will offer £5,000 vouchers for home improvements – or up to £10,000 if you’re on a low income.”
What is the Green Homes Grant?
The Green Homes Grant, which was announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak, is being launched to help households in England cover the cost of energy-saving improvements around their home.
Under the scheme, the government will cover at least two-thirds of the cost of certain green upgrades, up to a maximum of £5,000. For example, a homeowner would pay £1,320 of a £4,000 bill for cavity wall and floor insulation, while the government would pick up the remaining £2,680.
Households on low incomes can receive vouchers covering 100% of the cost of the improvements, up to a maximum of £10,000. The Green Homes Grant is part of a wider £3billion investment in green technology, with the UK aiming to go carbon neutral by 2050. The government has confirmed £2billion of this is going towards the vouchers and making homes more energy-efficient.
How do I apply for the Green Homes Grant?
Any homeowner or social or private landlord in England can apply for the voucher.
There are some exceptions though, for example, you won’t be eligible if you’ve already received a grant through the Local Authority Delivery Scheme or if you’ve got a new-build property that hasn’t been occupied before.
The scheme hasn’t launched yet and is due to open at the end of September – keep an eye on the government website for when applications open.
But to give you an idea of what work you can have done, the government is advising homeowners to visit the Simple Energy Advice (SEA) website to check what improvements can be made to their home.
You can then use the SEA website to find accredited tradespeople or businesses in your area. The government recommends getting at least three quotes to make sure you’re getting the best value for money. But you should only agree for the work to go ahead once your application for the voucher has been accepted.
Tradespeople have to register for TrustMark or MCS accreditation themselves to take part in the scheme and benefit from the work. The Green Homes Grant voucher must be redeemed and the work scheduled to be completed before March 31 2021.
People who qualify for the £10,000 low-income voucher must receive at least one of the following benefits:
- Income based Jobseekers allowance (JSA)
- Income based Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)
- Income Support (IS)
- Pension Guarantee Credit
- Working Tax Credit (WTC)
- Child Tax Credits (CTC)
- Universal Credit (UC)
- Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- Attendance Allowance
- Carer’s Allowance
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
- Contribution based Jobseekers allowance (JSA)
- Contribution based Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)
- Housing benefit
Landlords cannot apply for the low-income portion of the scheme.
What work is covered through the Green Homes Grant?
The work that can be covered through the Green Homes Grant is split into “primary” and “secondary” jobs.
To qualify for the scheme, you must be installing at least one of the following “primary” insulation or low carbon measures.
- Solid wall
- Cavity wall
- Flat roof
- Room in roof
- Insulating a park home
Low carbon heat:
- Air or ground source heat pump
- Solar thermal (solar panels which can be used for heating water)
- Biomass boilers
If you use the voucher for any of the above, you can also use it to cover the following “secondary” tasks:
- Draught proofing
- Double or triple glazing when replacing single glazing
- Secondary glazing when in addition to single glazing
- External energy efficient doors when replacing single glazed or solid doors installed before 2002
- Heating controls
- Hot water tank thermostats and insulation
The voucher does not cover the cost of:
- A new extension or conversion
- Insulating a conservatory which has no fixed heating
- installing a new fossil fuel boiler such as gas, oil or LPG