‘Crack on’: Alok Sharma implores businesses to join £2bn Green Homes Grant

Business Secretary Alok Sharma has called on tradespeople across the UK to access the Government's new £2bn Green Homes Grants scheme to mobilise efforts to improve the energy efficiency of the UK's housing stock.

‘Crack on’: Alok Sharma implores businesses to join £2bn Green Homes Grant

Sharma visited Instagroup in Wokingham. Image: Gov.uk

The Green Homes Grants scheme was unveiled by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in the Summer Economic Update to Parliament, which outlined measures to boost job growth as part of an economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

A total of £2bn has been earmarked for the new Green Homes Grant for those who do not live in social housing. The grant will cover two-thirds of the cost of verified energy-saving home improvements – rising to 100% for the poorest households.

Home improvements up to £10,000 will be considered and the Government expects more than 600,000 UK homes to become more energy efficient as a result. It will also support more than 100,000 jobs in green construction. More than 1,000 businesses across the country have applied so far.

Sunak said that some homeowners would see their annual energy bills cut by £300 as a result of the grant, with the average annual saving likely to be in the region of £200. To take part and offer their services through the scheme, tradespeople must register with TrustMark and certified through the Microgeneration Certification Scheme for any heating technology.

Business and Energy Secretary Alok Sharma said: “The Green Homes Grant scheme will not only cut emissions and make a serious dent in people’s energy bills, but will create new work for many thousands of talented builders, plumbers and other tradespeople right across the UK.

“Today I’m urging businesses to sign up and get TrustMark accredited so they can crack on and offer their services to households across the country when the scheme opens.”

UK homes account for around 18% of the UK’s emissions, largely from natural gas use for heating and cooking. According to the UK Green Building Council, the Government’s net-zero target for 2050 will require almost all of the UK’s 29 million homes to be retrofitted.

In related news, a group of businesses, mayors and political leaders last month called on the Conservative government to spend £5bn to deliver on its promised manifesto pledges in order to unlock £100bn in capital investment on energy efficiency and create more than 300,000 green jobs.

Convened through the UK100 – a network of over 100 mayors and local leaders from across the country – studies supported by EDF and Siemens have found that unlocking private sector investment could deliver a net return of £100bn to help build a green economic recovery.

The £100bn benefit would include £40bn for energy efficiency improvements and technologies, which would exceed the £9.2bn target promised in the Conservative manifesto. However, the research report, sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), states that an initial development funding amount of £5bn is required from Government to kickstart the green recovery.

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Matt Mace

Comments (2)

  1. Chris Stanley says:

    Don’t think it’s across the UK, it doesn’t include Scotland

  2. John Thompson says:

    Since leaving the RN I have spent over 30 years working within both of these areas, pioneering non-chemical, non-intrusive hard water (and other fluids) treatment technologies. Please see attached copy of our entry in the current Parliamentary Review giving a brief overview of some of our successes.
    We recently submitted our contribution to the Government s Call for Evidence – Energy Efficiency of Existing Homes. Please see copy attached.
    With the challenge of retrofitting Existing Homes, I feel that in the rush to do so we will miss an opportunity of doing so in a way that provides the greatest sustainable results; that is treating each home as a Whole House as recommended in The Dec 2016 Bonfield Review, Jointly commissioned by DECC and DCLG, copy attached.
    On page 58, para 15.15 is an example the Whole House Approach, where it states:
    One clear theme emerging from the Home Energy Technologies workstream was the need for stronger guidance on integration between technologies. Many technologies, both existing and new, rely on complementary technologies to operate at their maximum efficiency. For example, the long-term efficiency of heating systems of all types relies upon an efficient boiler, as well as the interaction of compatible controls, water treatment solutions, good user interfaces and solar thermal where installed
    This is the first time I have seen reference to Water Treatment in an official document; it is sadly omitted in other important documents, for example Part L, SAP, RdSAP, SBEM and BREAAM.
    If this is not rapidly addressed we will be woefully short of all the CC Targets the Government has set; and not only in the UK as this omission is repeated worldwide.
    Would welcome your feedback
    John Thompson ([email protected])

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