The low take-up among homeowners and landlords of the government’s Green Homes Grant has been laid bare.

Energy Minister Annie-Marie Trevelyan told parliament yesterday that just 74,317 applications have been made for the controversial voucher scheme and that so far only 23,553 had been issued.

This follows a stinging rebuke for the scheme from the parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee which, as we reported last week, said its delivery by an outsourced company in the US had been ‘poor’.

Tax reform needed

This has prompted the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) to call for reform of the tax system to support landlords who want to upgrade their properties ahead of next week’s budget statement.

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“Given that over 32 per cent of properties in the private rented sector were built before 1919, it faces a huge challenge in making homes energy efficient when compared with any other housing sector,” the NRLA says.

“The Government has committed to upgrade as many private rented sector homes as possible to Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Band C or better by 2030. Currently, 62 per cent have an EPC rating of D or lower.”

In reality the government is proposing to push more of the financial burden of achieving Band C onto landlords which includes raising the minimum contribution by landlords from £3,500 to £10,000.

Offset costs

Instead, the NRLA wants landlords to be able to offset upgrade costs against their tax bill when they purchase or repair a property, rather than against CGT much further down the line, which is currently the case.

“For example, replacing a broken boiler is tax deductible [but] replacing an energy inefficient model for a more efficient boiler or heating system is not,” it says.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Why did the BRITISH Govt, dealing with BRITISH housing & BRITISH taxpayer’s money outsource this to the US? Do we not have any unemployed people in this country? Or companies that need work? Just ridiculous! When will our Govt start supporting BRITISH companies?

  2. It would be interesting to know if any member of the government (or indeed any of their advisers) has any financial links with the US company ; we already have examples of this type of pecuniary interest with the PPE contracts and with the Pfizer vaccine. Any homeowner wanting to use the green homes scheme should be able to receive a voucher to give to a contractor of their choice, not limited to those who have registered with the scheme. That way, both homeowners and landlords could use good local contractors, many of whom will already have a good track record with the owner, of quality and value for money. Whenever tory governments have these “bright” ideas which on the surface, give the impression that they are supporting innovation and development, they 1)overcomplicate the procedure for application & payment and 2)instead of enabling the use of local contractors, put the funding in the hands (and pockets) of big businesses who often (surprise surprise,) have links to the Conservative Party. I have seen this on a number of occasions (as a civil servant working in fraud prevention), schemes such as the workforce development corporation scheme, the original green deal scheme to name but 2.

  3. Actually I think the NRLA are wrong. Replacing a boiler with a more efficient one is covered by the current repairs tax deductible expenses in the same way that double glazing replacing single glazing is.

    • Agreed, a boiler can’t be a capital cost since it will be obsolete in 10 – 15 years. Otherwise, one could imagine a situation where one claims for two or three boilers as a capitol cost when selling-up, which is nonsense!

  4. Applied for the Green Homes Grant September 2019. Sent in quote from registered installer. Am still waiting for confirmation. Last email confirmed my application November 2019.

  5. Green Homes Grant sucks. It is one of the worst and most incompetently administered piles of government rubbish which pretends to be something it isn’t – marvellous! The hoops you have to jump through are too tiny – a small flat cannot accommodate a biomass boiler and its associated hoppers and storage, a ground-source heat pump is out of the question, and there isn’t anywhere to put an air-source heat pump. That only leaves some insulation measures as the qualifying primary installations. And the flat already has them! What it really needed was secondary glazing, so we installed ourselves in the end. What a useless government this country has. It has gone downhill like a large boulder since the end of World War II…

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