'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.

Sharma visited Instagroup in Wokingham. Image: Gov.uk

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


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