An investigation by LandlordZONE into the Green Homes Grant has highlighted clear teething problems at the scheme as its struggles to recruit enough approved tradespeople, who are already busy, tech glitches within the official website and so far only 6,000 applications from landlords for vouchers.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) tells LandlordZONE that it’s had 47,000 applications for vouchers, with more issued daily, including landlords. At launch it was announced that 600,000 vouchers were available – therefore there has only been an 8% pick-up so far.

Too complex

Some landlords and home-owners have been told by double-glazing fitters that the scheme is too complex and costly in the busy run-up to Christmas, leaving them with a voucher but no workmen.

Under the £2 billion scheme, they can claim up to two-thirds of a property’s green refurbishment cost with a ceiling of £5,000 per rented home.

- Advertisement -

But all tradespeople must register with TrustMark and while there were 1,000 registered installers just before it launched, only another 200 have registered since then.

Teething troubles

Retrofit Academy Chief executive David Pierpoint says teething troubles due to software glitches on the Government site means property owners haven’t always been connected to the right tradespeople.

“The grant was launched in haste so it’s no surprise that there are gremlins in the system,” he tells LandlordZONE. “There also aren’t enough installers with the right accreditation, but this is really worth having.”

In the meantime, Pierpoint (pictured) urges landlords to be patient and points to the recent announcement of a year-long extension that gives them until 31st March 2022 to get the work done.

“It would be worth them using some of the grant to get professional advice on the retrofit and get a plan in place before doing the work,” he adds.

Trustmark tells LandlordZONE

“We are aware there has been a huge demand for businesses to carry out work under the Green Homes Grant and have and are working closely with industry to promote and encourage new businesses to register with TrustMark so they can take part in government initiatives such as the Green Homes Grant.”

Substantial capacity

A spokesman at the BEIS insists that more suppliers are registering every day, including many national businesses with substantial capacity to carry out work across the country. 

He adds: “We are actively working with TrustMark providers and certification bodies to support installers to get certified as quickly as possible. This includes streamlining certification processes where possible and halving the costs of accreditation for some PAS standards.”

Apply for a grant voucher.
Read more advice about the Green Homes Grant.

7 COMMENTS

  1. LLs didn’t apply because no tradesmen would quote – they were all over loaded!

    The year’s extension has helped – I have now got someone to visit to quote – but 2 months into the scheme they have not received any vouchers, so clearly some big problems with how the scheme is being run.

    I just hope, in the end it all works out as it is a good bonus for doing work that will make a difference – just such a shame the scheme is so poorly put together.

  2. We are based in Kent. The tradesman I have approached so far informed me that the work normally prices up at between £15k and £20k, meaning the maximum grant only equates to between 25% and 33%. At this point the benefit doesn’t outweigh the cost, which is why I believe a lot of landlords aren’t interested, us included.

  3. A lot of the work is very disruptive and can only be carried out between tenancies (plus we don’t all have immediate access to funds, which may take time to accumulate). Moreover, this scheme is too hasty and is just an attempt by the Government to show their green credentials by picking on the easiest target – Landlords. Firstly, as a minimum, works need to fit around a 2 or 3 year time scale in order to fit around vacancies. Secondly, longer timeframes allows trades to smooth out the peaks and avoid a mad rush where some of us will miss out because there is no one available to carry out the work. The scheme should be extended over the next 10 – 20 years, and certainly delay EPC rating C beyond 2025 for new tenancies. The Government talks of starting a sustainable green jobs revolution, but that’s not going to have any longevity if they insist all work must be completed in such a short timescale. It will only result in a spike in expensive short-term pop-up providers or unsustainable expansions that will disappear when the funding runs out.

  4. Many trades people are so busy that they just put their prices up so often there is in fact no real saving to be had. I’d rather that the government repaid the VAT of all goods that are obviously for energy improvements – insulation, double glazing, efficient boilers etc back to property owners & also allow all these items to be offset against income tax (many are not currently as they are classed as an improvement / capital gain).

  5. With costs of £20000 most LL would be better off just selling rental properties that can’t cost effectively meet EPC C status.

    Payback would take decades.

    Better to sell what are effectively dud rental properties.
    Let FTB buy these duds as they won’t be subject to MEES.

    Of course when they come to sell no LL will be interested in buying; so a very restricted market to sell into.

  6. I don’t believe band c is achievable, the government will have change this goal. Older properties with solid 9″ brick walls could be clad, would that lift them from d to c no, not according to my epc adviser. Then you have the added problem of walls retaining water and damp.
    The government figures say average house in England is band d, so rental properties are expected to be more efficient than private houses?

  7. One main issue here is Trustmark itself as far as double glazing is concerned.
    The way it should be is if an installer is Fensa approved they should automatically be Trustmark registered.

    This would cut alot of red tape.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here