Green Homes Grant – Your Questions Answered2021-04-08T16:34:58+01:00

Page updated: 8 April 2021

The government has closed the Green Homes Grant scheme for any new applications, as of 31 March 2021.

We are awaiting more information from the government. For now, here’s our understanding of the situation:

  • If you applied by 5pm on 31 March 2021, our understanding is that your voucher is supposed to be considered.
  • If you already have your voucher, it will be processed.
  • The version of the scheme being delivered by local authorities will continue. This is very similar to the standard Green Homes Grant scheme, but without the use of vouchers. It covers similar measures.

Here’s the link to information on the government’s website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-the-green-homes-grant-scheme

PLEASE NOTE: CAfS is not in any way associated with the Green Homes Grant. Our aim in providing this information was to help as many Cumbrian residents as possible to take advantage of the scheme to make their homes warmer and reduce their energy bills. The information in these FAQs comes from the government’s guidance and our other research.

What is the Green Homes Grant Voucher Scheme? 2020-11-04T14:24:45+00:00

The Green Homes Grant Voucher Scheme is a government scheme that provides finance to homeowners to help them pay for measures that will help improve the energy efficiency of their homes.

 

What are the eligibility criteria to qualify for a voucher? 2020-11-05T14:32:00+00:00

To be eligible for a voucher you must own your home (including park home owners, long-leaseholders and shared ownership) or be a private or social landlord.

Your property must be in England (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are not involved in this scheme).

New-build properties that have not previously been occupied are not eligible for the scheme.

You cannot apply for the scheme if you have already received a grant from your local authority as part of the Local Authority Delivery Scheme.

If you are a private rent landlord your property must have an EPC band E, F or G.

 

How do we apply?2021-08-20T13:47:29+01:00
  1. Plan your project with other members of your group and think about how you will answer the questions in the application form before you fill it in: 
  • Name of your group/organisation 
  • Contact details – email, phone, address, website if applicable 
  • Summary of the event/activity you plan to do 
  • What do you hope this will achieve linked to climate and/or COP? 
  • What costs do you need help with from the Zero Carbon Cumbria funding? 
  • Do you have exact quotes for the costs – if not, could you get copies of these? 

If you need any help or advice, please contact [email protected] 

2. Download an application form

3.Fill in the application and complete with an electronic signature. By signing the application form, you are signing to confirm that you have read and agreed with all the terms and conditions of the grant, including a commitment to provide a monitoring report on your achievements. 

4. Return to [email protected] together with any necessary additional documents, including your constitution and bank account details, and a recent bank statement.  

What measures can the vouchers be used for? 2020-11-05T15:22:33+00:00

The vouchers cover home improvements in 2 categories:

Primary Measures 

These cover insulation or low-carbon heating and include:

  • solid wall insulation (internal or external)
  • cavity wall insulation
  • under-floor insulation (solid floor, suspended floor)
  • loft insulation
  • flat roof insulation
  • pitched roof insulation
  • room-in-roof insulation
  • insulating a park home
  • air-source heat pump
  • ground-source heat pump
  • solar thermal (liquid filled flat plate or evacuated tube collector)
  • biomass boiler
  • hybrid heat pump

Secondary Measures 

These cover windows, doors and heating controls, and include:

  • draughtproofing
  • double or triple glazing (where replacing single glazing)
  • secondary glazing (in addition to single glazing)
  • energy-efficient replacement doors (replacing single-glazed or solid doors installed before 2002)
  • hot water tank thermostat
  • hot water tank insulation
  • heating controls (such as appliance thermostats, smart heating controls, zone controls, intelligent delayed start thermostat, thermostatic radiator valves)

If you install at least one primary measure, your voucher can be used to help cover the cost of any of the secondary measures, as long as the cost of the secondary measures does not exceed the amount you get for primary measures.

The voucher can be used to pay for:

  • labour
  • materials
  • scaffolding
  • VAT

Additional works will be covered by the voucher if they are necessary for the installation of measures.

 

How do I apply? What are all the steps in the process? 2020-11-05T15:21:39+00:00

The Application

  • Homeowner checks their eligibility on the Simple Energy Advice website. You’ll complete their online questionnaire to check which measures you are eligible to install. (*Please see note below for more detail on this.)
  • The homeowner finds a registered installer and gets a quote. An onsite survey by the proposed installer may be required, in order to give a realistic quote.
  • The homeowner fills out the application form and lodges the quote with the Scheme Administrator online.
  • The Administrator assesses the application and issues the voucher.

*NOTE: The government guidance is to get an EPC done for your property (or use an existing one if it’s not more than three years old) and get recommendations on top for the measures that are included in the Green Homes Grant scheme. The guidance also states that you should get independent advice from a source other than an installer. You will be required to tick a box on the application saying you have taken advice or are happy with your own investigations.

So you’ll need:

  • The name and date of birth of the property owner or owners
  • The name and date of birth of anyone living in the property who is receiving benefits
  • A quote for the work from a TrustMark-registered tradesperson
  • The TrustMark licence number of your chosen tradesperson
  • Proof of your benefits if claiming the £10,000 voucher
  • Evidence that you are fulfilling all the criteria required under the terms and conditions.

The Installation 

  • The installer asks for a deposit and purchases the necessary materials
  • The installer carries out the work to the required standards
  • The installer files a report with Trustmark who check the quality of the work

Completion 

  • The installer issues the necessary certification to the customer
  • The customer signs off on the work completed
  • The installer raises an invoice for the full amount
  • The customer pays their contribution and passes over the voucher
  • The installer applies for reimbursement of the voucher
  • The Scheme Administrator verifies the claim and makes the payment

 

What is the ‘standard’ voucher worth? 2020-11-05T15:23:33+00:00

Standard voucher

The standard voucher is worth up to a maximum value of £5,000 per household. The homeowner must also contribute towards the costs of the eligible energy efficiency measures under the scheme. The grant can contribute 67% of the costs. Here are a few examples:

If you want to install measures worth £6,000 you will have to pay £2,000 to the installer and the voucher will cover the remaining £4,000.

If you want to install measures worth £7,500 you will have to pay £2,500 to the installer and the voucher will cover the remaining £5,000.

If you want to install measures worth £9,000 the voucher will still only cover the maximum £5,000, so you will have to pay £4,000.

What if I cannot afford to pay anything towards the works? 2020-11-05T15:25:33+00:00

The government is concerned about those who cannot afford to contribute to the scheme so they have announced a low-income voucher worth £10,000 without any need for the homeowner to contribute.

If there is anyone in your household who may be entitled to one of the following benefits, you may be eligible to apply for this voucher:

  • Income Support
  • Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-Based Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Universal Credit
  • Pension Guarantee Credit (excluding Pension Savings Credit)
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefits
  • Contribution-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Contribution-Based Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Housing Benefit

Local authorities can apply to use the scheme to support households with an income of less than £30,000.

 

What is the ‘low-income’ voucher worth?2020-11-05T15:25:49+00:00

For homeowners on certain benefits there is a low-income voucher that is worth up to £10,000 and that does not require any contribution from the homeowner.

If you want to install measures worth up to £10,000 you will not have to pay anything and the voucher will cover the whole amount.

If you want to install measures worth £11,000 the voucher will still only cover £10,000 and you will have to pay the remaining £1,000.

You will not need to pay a deposit if your measures cost within the £10,000 covered by the voucher.

 

What about getting or if I have Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)?2020-11-05T15:26:38+00:00

The Green Homes Grant can be used in conjunction with the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), but only if you do not currently receive RHI payments for the specific installation you are applying for with the grant.

Homeowners will first need to apply for a Green Homes Grant and then apply for RHI.

The cost of the vouchers provided will then be taken off the value of their projected RHI payments.

However, this cannot work the other way round: you cannot apply for RHI first before applying for the Green Homes Grant.

 

I have heard about Green Homes Grant – LAD, what is this and can I apply?2020-11-05T15:27:40+00:00

A Green Homes Grant LAD is a government funded grant which is delivered by the local authority where they can set a broader criteria for eligibility to meet the problems in their areas. The conditions are similar but not the same and so that should be checked upon with your own local authority where you live.

The time scales for these grants are also longer than the individual homeowner voucher scheme. With some schemes running until 2022.

Eden have a Green Homes Grant LAD scheme set up to cover harsh weather areas in the first instance around Alston, Langwathby and Brough.  Though anyone in Eden should seek information from there dedicated webpage and apply anyway , as they have the right to choose to accept applicants and match them onto the scheme, through various phases of it.

 

Can a landlord apply for a voucher?2020-11-05T15:28:49+00:00

Yes, they are encouraged to do so for buildings with an E, F or G ratings as they cannot officially let a property with a rating lower than an E. To take the grant, however, they would need to raise the accommodation to the band C level.

A landlord can apply for a £5000 voucher for each property that they own. They cannot apply for a £10,000 voucher. However, a scheme being phased in will allow up to £10,000 of measures with an implementation date of April 2025 for new tenancies and 2028 for all tenancies.

 

What about park home owners?2020-11-05T15:29:36+00:00

You need to look for an installer that is listed as a Trustmark  B13 Park Home Insulation Installer.

Nobody else can provide the work with the necessary guarantees and insurances to allow you to get the grant voucher.

All installers working on insulating Park Homes MUST HAVE Trustmark registration under PAS2030:2019 part B13 : Park Home Insulation Installer and follow PAS2035 standards.

(At present CIGA is the only Trustmark Scheme Provider that is providing Trustmark Registration for Park Homes Insulation Installers.)

Can my business claim a voucher for insulating my office? 2020-11-05T15:30:58+00:00

No, the Green Homes Grant is only available for homeowners, landlords of residential properties and housing associations.

 

How do I find an installer?2020-11-05T15:31:10+00:00

Check on the Simple Energy Advice website to find relevant installers, but we suggest you make it a wider area search.

CAfS offers a free advice call through our Cold to Cosy Homes service, and we can tell you about all schemes in the area.

Ask local authorities if they have a scheme running using qualified installers.

Please also see the FAQ on installers in Cumbria.

Does my installer really need to be registered with the scheme? 2020-11-05T15:31:29+00:00

Yes. They also must be registered with Trustmark first.

For heat pumps (ground-, air- and water-source), solar thermal (liquid-filled flat plate or evacuated tube collectors) and biomass boilers, the installer should also be MCS certified.

Under Trustmark rules all installers have to operate to PAS 2030:2017, 2030:2019 or PAS 2035:2019 standards. 

Park homes

All installers working on insulating park homes MUST HAVE Trustmark registration under PAS2030:2019 part B13 : Park Home Insulation Installer and follow PAS2035 standards

(At present CIGA is the only Trustmark Scheme Provider that is providing Trustmark Registration for Park Homes Insulation Installers.)

 

Do I need to get quotes from more than one installer?2020-11-05T15:31:56+00:00

No, you only need one quote that covers each measure you are installing.

When you apply for a voucher the Scheme Administrator will compare that quoted price with other quotes on their system to ensure the homeowner is not being overcharged.  The government still recommends you seek out three quotes before making your choice of installers, but, given the very tight deadlines and the limited number of registered installers, it is not a requirement and a single quote is sufficient for this scheme.

 

 

Are there installers willing to work in Cumbria?2020-11-05T15:32:14+00:00

The full live list of installers registered under Green Homes Grant is available on the Simple Energy Advice website.

Please check there for the latest information.

As of 4 November 2020, we’re aware of the following installers working in Cumbria:

Thrift Energy

They work on all forms of insulation and work with Eden and Carlisle councils on ECOFlex schemes.

They will do external/internal walls under the Green Homes Grant scheme. For cavity wall and loft or room insulation they say they are more likely to move a client to the ECO3 scheme because of the lack of time to get work done under the Green Homes Grant.

Tel: 0800 689 3415

Direct Savings

They deal with renewable heat incentive (RHI), room-in-roof insulation, loft, floor, cavity and solid-wall insulation (internal and external).

They also work with some of the local councils.

Tel: 01506 444161
Email: [email protected]

Union Technical         

They are working on all insulation under the Green Homes Grant in Cumbria and work alongside Carlisle City Council on an ECOFlex scheme.

Tel: 0800 046 9190
Email: [email protected]

We are collecting details of installers available to work in Cumbria, as and when we find them. We’re keen to add more here, so do inform us if you find one so that we can share. Thank you!

 

Why can’t I find any installers in my area?2020-11-05T15:32:30+00:00

The government has introduced this scheme to create jobs as well as to improve the energy efficiency of UK homes.

The industry is not very big, so it has to hire and train more installers to be able to deliver this scheme.

In order to protect homeowners, the government has insisted that only certified professional installers should be allowed to carry out the work under this scheme.

This means that installers have to go through a stringent certification process for each type of measure they wish to install, and this takes time.

There are suitable installers for all the measures across the whole of England. As the registration only went live on 30 September, however, not all the installers have been able to complete the registration process yet.

There is a shortage of insulation installers qualified to carry out work for park homes in particular, as the standards of expertise required for them are much more stringent due to the nature of the buildings, so qualification takes slightly longer.

As we hear of more installers completing their registration in Cumbria, we will update the FAQs. For now, see our FAQ on installers in Cumbria.

It could be that you need to expand your search area to, say, 100 miles, because installers register via their head office but may, in fact, cover the whole county.

The insistence on properly certified installers is important, as you don’t want untrained people working on your house. Badly installed energy-efficiency measures could cause structural damage and health problems in homes. (Also, mortgage and insurance companies don’t like botched building works that could reduce the value of a property.)

 

 

I do a lot of DIY. Can I do the installation myself? 2020-11-05T15:32:48+00:00

No. To qualify for the voucher you need to use a registered installer.

What VAT rate is work charged at, and is that covered by the voucher? 2020-11-05T15:33:21+00:00

VAT on the installation of many energy-efficiency measures is not necessarily charged at the usual 20% rate. Instead, installers can, in many circumstances, charge 5% VAT, if both their customer and the installed measure qualify.

Installers will provide quotations and will show which elements of their installation are charged at the lower rate, and which are charged at the normal rate.

The installer usually has to buy the materials at the higher rate, but they can claim that back when they sell at the lower rate. The 5% rate is available on the installation of all the primary measures in the Green Homes Grant Scheme and most, but not all, the secondary measures.

Installations paid for by contributions from landlords do not qualify for the reduced rate.

 

For retrofit schemes, does the 5% VAT rate apply for Retrofit Coordinator fees and can you apply for work already done?2020-11-05T15:33:35+00:00

BEIS has said that HMRC is not allowing the 5% rate on Retrofit Coordinator fees.

You cannot claim for work already done.

You have to ask the administrator about what can be included as a part of your claim for preparatory work before you can apply for the voucher.

 

The VAT situation is confusing. Is there help with this?2020-11-05T15:33:57+00:00

There is more VAT information on the HMRC website:

Energy-saving materials and heating equipment (VAT Notice 708/6): How to account for VAT if you are a contractor installing energy-saving materials and grant-funded heating equipment.

 

I have applied for the voucher. When can installation start? 2020-11-05T15:34:18+00:00

The installer cannot start work until the voucher has been issued.

It will take about 10 days for the voucher to be issued from when you put the application in.

(For applications submitted in October there will be a longer delay in receiving your voucher as the Scheme Administrator is having to manually process the applications while their automated systems are developed. The first homeowners should have started receiving their vouchers towards the end of October.)

The government confirmed that as of 4pm on 20 October, the Green Homes Grant voucher scheme had received 20,903 applications since its launch.

 

How long is the Green Homes Grant Voucher valid for? 2020-11-05T15:34:42+00:00

Vouchers are valid for 3 months from the date of issue.

The Green Homes Grant Scheme will end on 31 March 2021. All vouchers applied for after 31 December 2020 will expire at the end of March regardless of when they are issued.

All work under the Green Homes Grant Scheme must be completed within the validity period of the voucher.

There is a 10-day process between the voucher being submitted by the homeowner and the scheme paying out.

Installers must complete all works by 20 March 2021 to ensure they are paid before the scheme closes.

 

 

When does the scheme end?2020-12-10T16:03:41+00:00

At the moment all work under the Green Homes Grant Scheme must be completed by 31 March 2022. (The original date was end of March 2021, but this has now been extended.) It may be further extended if there is more demand.

Who is the Scheme Administrator?2020-11-05T15:35:29+00:00

The Scheme Administrator is the organisation tasked with overseeing the delivery of the Green Homes Grant Voucher Scheme.

The Scheme Administrator approves all the applications and is responsible for releasing the payment to the installers when they are ready to redeem the voucher.

The Scheme Administrator for the Green Homes Grant Scheme is ICF Consulting Services Limited.

 

Can Cold to Cosy Homes give me impartial advice so that I can make the right decision on the order I do the work in and what’s right for my home?2020-11-05T15:35:42+00:00

Yes, you can book a Cold to Cosy Homes advice call to help you through this.

It is free if you fulfil the eligibility criteria. Otherwise, you can pay for advice and other services such as surveys.

Call us on 01768 216500.

Is there a helpline for questions about the Green Homes Grant?2020-11-05T15:36:02+00:00

Yes, the helpline opened on 26 October.

The number to call is: 0300 131 0053.

You can also use the government’s online contact form for the scheme.

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