The government’s much-maligned Green Homes Grant has been axed six months after it was launched, business minister Kwasi Kwarteng has announced.

His department’s flagship scheme, which was introduced to help give the nation’s private homes and rented accommodation a green upgrade and to create work for builders, will close to new applications from Thursday this week onwards.

As LandlordZONE reported three months after its September launch, the Green Homes Grant has been dogged by problems including the complicated nature of its approvals system, while its roll-out was described by Greenpeace as ‘shambolic’.

This has included a lack of tradespeople willing to go through the Trustmark approval process to join the scheme, Covid restrictions, confusion over which upgrades and improvements qualify under the scheme and in which order they must be completed, and also a lack of applications.

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Only approximately 60,0000 of the 600,000 available vouchers have been taken up by the scheme, a situation not helped by the government’s decision to outsource the management of the grant scheme to a US-based company.

The BBC report that £300m of the unspent cash allocated to the Green Homes Grant scheme will now to redirected to a parallel green upgrade programme administered by councils that targets low-income households, called the Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery Scheme.

Meera Chindooroy (pictured), Deputy Director, Campaigns, Public Affairs & Policy says: “The government’s decision to scrap the Green Homes Grants, proves that a new, long-term plan for upgrading properties is needed. 

“The NRLA has consistently called for further funding to be made available to help landlords to go above and beyond the legal minimum of energy efficiency measures set out by the Government for the PRS. 

“One way for the government to ensure it avoids the pitfalls which have affected the Green Homes Grant scheme is to consider the Environmental Audit Committee’s (EAC) latest recommendations.  

“In our view the EAC’s report, which features several NRLA recommendations, can provide a useful starting point for a longer-term strategy to energy efficiency.” 

Kwarteng’s official announcement barely mentions the closure of the scheme, in which he says: “This latest announcement takes our total energy efficiency spending to over £1.3 billion in the next financial year, giving installers the certainty they need to plan ahead, create new jobs and train the next generation of builders, plumbers and tradespeople.”

9 COMMENTS

  1. Same here, applied online several times. Website suggested that details would be given and get back in touch – nothing happened. Gave up trying. Ended up though with loads of spam phone calls from people talking about loft insulation (obviously exploiting the vulnerable)

  2. There is one overarching comment on this. Is there anything that this totally incompetent Gov’t touches that doesn’t end up in a shambles?? £37 Billion on Trick and Trap was money well spent wasn’t it.

  3. I knew it was a rubbish scheme so didn’t even bother to apply. Was obvious to from the very begining it wouldn’t work.
    It’d be better for all houses (not just rented) to meet less onerous epc targets than to make all carbon savings on the fewer number of rented houses by making epc targets way too strict.

  4. Problem is that the Government has to recognise that to have an overall improvement to the UK housing stock that when dealing with the PRS you can’t just apply low income families as the Landlord does not know how long a tenant will stay in a property, I was 8n the process of getting an upgrade of heating, then the tenant who applied and qualified for the scheme has left and new tenant is in reasonable paid job, so doubt if upgrade will happen. This will cause distortion in the rental market.

  5. Honestly, it’s the middle class that gets screwed by this. Low income households will always be taken care of by the government with reduced or free rent. The wealthy don’t need any help. People like me who saved up for years to finally buy a flat are “just poor enough”; I’m considered ‘too rich’ to qualify for any gov assistance but I’m definitely too poor to take on major green renovations on my own. I am a leaseholder of my council-owned flat where there’s a current discussion about replacing our horribly freezing, energy depleting single glazed windows. The council wants to bill leaseholders to the tune of £31k a pop. Yes – £31,000. The council tenants are pushing for them as they’re free for them. Meanwhile entire livelihoods like mine are crushed as I’ll be saddled with this huge sum I’m going to blow my life savings on that I have to pay in full in 2 years. Leaseholders are trying to get the council to agree to let leaseholders do the window’s privately, which would be much less expensive at £6k. If the government/council didn’t saddle people with soul destroying major works, we could afford to spend our own money to make our homes more green.

  6. The report says that only 60,000 of the 600,000 vouchers have been taken up. With the implication being that Landlords weren’t interested. However, the real reason the vouchers haven’t been taken up is because of the difficulty in getting anyone to come out and give us a quote, without which, you could not get a voucher!
    This is particularly true of replacement boilers and exterior rendering. I did manage to get a quote from a company for one property that was eligible for solar water. Unfortunately, despite my application going in 4 months ago and chasing it up several times, I still haven’t received my voucher! I don’t blame the government, I blame the people who are actually running the scheme! They want sacking!

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