Image Above: John Agnew, GGF Managing Director
The Government has released more details of the Green Homes Grant Scheme almost one month after it was announced by the Chancellor. The announcement adversely affected many home improvement companies as consumers cancelled or postponed orders until the launch of the scheme, which is set for September and will be available in England only, with an estimated 600k homes benefiting.
In the detail, the glazing element is relatively low priority with only those upgrading from single glazing to double or triple glazing or if installing secondary glazing, being able to claim funding under the scheme.
The scheme also covers upgrading to energy efficient doors but at present there is no detail as to what this means and which products will be eligible. The amount of Government assistance for glazing cannot be more than the value of the initial measures which will need to be completed first and which are different types of insulation and / or low carbon heating.
On receiving the details of the scheme, John Agnew, GGF Managing Director commented, “The Green Homes Grant Scheme announcement and delayed publication of operating detail has caused significant damage to many companies in our membership. Following the initial announcement last month, many homeowners cancelled or simply didn’t order their replacement glazing, in anticipation of the scheme’s September launch. Now that the details have been confirmed it is clear there is very little in this scheme for the glazing industry”.
The biggest glazing challenge for homes is to have modern energy efficient windows – those that are C rated or above. There are currently tens of millions of double glazed windows in the UK that have been installed pre-2002 that need replacing because they are inefficient. The Green Homes Grant Scheme does not tackle this issue. Instead it leans towards, loft insulation, cavity wall insulation and cheaper, easier options.
The other reality in the scheme’s details is that it is very limited in terms of suppliers. Only installers who are accredited to PAS2030 will be allowed to carry out work under the scheme. It is estimated that of the 15,000 window and door installers in the UK, less than 5% (under 500) are PAS2030 registered. FENSA can accredit installers to PAS2030, and the GGF recommends all glazing home improvement companies who wish to qualify for work under the Green Homes Grant Scheme, register with FENSA who will support GGF members with any additional assessment requirements.
Later this month, homeowners across England will be able to access advice and support on improving the energy efficiency of their homes from the Simple Energy Advice (SEA) service. SEA will suggest appropriate home improvements that homeowners may be able to apply for support in funding.
Once the works are agreed, vouchers will start to be issued from the end of September so work can commence.
The GGF is continuing to engage in the Government’s work streams regarding the road to recovery from lockdown impact and will keep members up to speed with all developments.