Now axed Green Homes Grant was too ‘costly and complicated’ for tradespeople to sign-up for meaning households found it tough to use
- The Green Homes Grant scheme will be axed on Wednesday 31 March 2021
- This decision has been called ‘disappointing’ by trades firms
- Government say they are committed to building a greener Britain
The Green Homes Grant scheme is to be axed tomorrow, a year earlier than planned, a decision that is ‘disappointing’ to tradespeople.
One industry expert said the scheme primarily failed because it was too ‘complicated and costly process for small trade businesses, which severely hampered sign-ups.’
The news comes just a month after it was announced the Government would withdraw £1billion of funding to the much promoted programme, which launched last year.
This left £320million in the scheme which the Government said will initially be spent on fulfilling outstanding voucher requests received until 31 March at 5pm.
The ending of the Green Homes Grant scheme a year early is ‘disappointing’ to tradespeople
Any of this amount remaining after that will be reinvested in other energy efficiency schemes to be announced at the weekend.
An extra £300million will be made available to local authorities for green home upgrades, helping more low-income households to upgrade.
The £2billion grant was billed as a way of helping homeowners improve the energy efficiency of their home and to help stimulate a green jobs revolution.
The Government wanted 600,000 homes to take advantage of the scheme. It is estimated it only hit 10 per cent of this target.
It faced a number of criticisms over the last couple of months after it was revealed it was only due to be available for six months in which time households would have to sign up, find a trader and have all works completed.
Other issues include smaller traders being alienated from the scheme due to the current registration process which was said to be both lengthy and costly.
Many households also reported struggling to find any available tradespeople available due to the number of people looking to have works completed in the lockdown period.
Industry insiders have said they are disappointed with the news.
Adrienne Minster, chief executive of Rated People, said: ‘It’s disappointing that the Government has decided not to continue with the Green Homes Grant and are rather abruptly cutting off applications after 31 March 2021.
‘The scheme had been extremely popular with homeowners looking to get help funding eco-friendly renovations, but the trade industry definitely struggled to meet demand.
‘This is primarily because applying to be a Green Homes Grant approved tradesperson had been a complicated and costly process for small trade businesses, which severely hampered sign-ups.
‘As such, a lot of homeowners struggled to find approved businesses for their projects and the scheme had only improved 10 per cent of its 600,000 home target.’
The Government said it is committed to building back greener from the pandemic despite cuts
However, she says that as a whole, tradespeople are are in incredible demand.
She adds: ‘Even though the discontinuation of the Green Homes Grant will be disappointing for tradespeople who specialise in certain eco-friendly home improvements, such as insulation, it is actually a positive time for the trade industry overall.
‘Homeowners are keen to spruce up their homes for potential post-lockdown visitors and we’ve seen overall job listings surge by 42 per cent year-on-year.’
Despite the Grant being cut, the Government announced a further £300million of extra funding is to be invested to cut greenhouse gas emissions from the nation’s homes through energy efficiency and low carbon heating schemes.
A Government spokesperson said: ‘We’re committed to building back greener from the pandemic, and the Prime Minister’s 10-point plan gives us a clear strategy to eliminate our contribution to climate change by 2050 while creating green jobs and growing the low-carbon supply chain.
‘All Green Homes Grant voucher applications received up to 31 March will be processed, meaning installations will continue over the coming months, supporting jobs and delivering much needed upgrades to households.’
It added that, over the last three decades, the UK has achieved record clean growth and has met its climate change commitments.
Aside from the Green Homes Grant, the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan outlined plans to mobilise £12billion of Government funding into low carbon technologies and infrastructure.
The Energy White Paper also sets out plans for transformation of the UK’s energy system for a greener future – including fully decarbonising the UK’s electricity generation by 2050 and supporting up to 220,000 jobs by 2030.