Green homes grant

Green homes grant: How to get up to £10k free cash

We have all heard about the effect global warming has on the climate – but it also has a direct effect on your pocket. The cost of energy is increasing, which means that we find ourselves paying out more for the basic essentials of keeping our homes warm and supplied with hot water.

Of course, we can reduce our energy needs by adding things like insulation and double glazing. But these cost money too, and in many cases, you could find yourself spending out more than you will save.

But there could be some good news, with government help to pay for those home improvements with the Green Homes Grant, with up to £10,000 available per household.

It could mean getting the government to help increase the value of your home.

How much grant money could you get?

That sounds good – but it’s not all free cash. The grant covers two-thirds of the cost of improvements designed to make your home more energy efficient, and you’ll need to pay the rest. There’s also a cap on the amount the government will give you, which for most of us is set at £5,000. So, if the work costs more than £7,500 you’ll be contributing a larger proportion of the total cost.

The only exception is for those receiving qualifying benefits who might be able to get 100% of the costs covered with a grant of up to £10,000.

How much money will you save?

Getting your home energy efficient isn’t just about the climate crisis which may be affecting the whole world. The benefits can come a lot closer to home, because if you waste less energy you will also be wasting less money on your energy bills.

The government says it could be £600 off your bills each year, but the real figure that applies to you will depend on the size and type of home you have, and how energy efficient it is already. A larger, older home, with draughty windows and old style heating could make the biggest savings with some surprisingly affordable changes.

The Simple Energy Advice website explains some of the different improvements you could make to your home.

They range from the obvious - improving the insulation in your loft, walls or floor – to the more radical new ideas, like ground source heat pump or solar thermal installations.

The site also includes a calculator to help you work out how each type of improvement could work to save you energy and money.

It will help you work out if you could make the most worthwhile savings with new doors and windows, with loft insulation, or with other changes, like an updated boiler. You can choose what is best for you and work out how long it will take for the improvement to pay for itself.

Are you eligible for a Green Home Grant?

You need to live in England and own (or be buying) your home. You can’t use the grant to improve new-build properties, which should already meet modern standards. You may also be eligible if you are a residential landlord, although you may have some extra requirements to meet.

But you can’t just get the money and then start using it to improve things. The grant comes in the form of vouchers, which you can use towards the bill of a Green Homes Grant contractor.

Start by getting quotes from participating tradespeople. You can find them on the Simple Energy Advice website.

Once you’ve got your quotes you can apply online, including the installers TrustMark Licence Number. If you are successful you’ll be sent a voucher, or more than one if there are several different jobs included in your home improvement plan.

When it comes to paying you’ll need to confirm to the government that it’s been completed and meets set criteria. Then they’ll pay the contractor directly for the value of the voucher, and you pay the remainder of this bill yourself.

But hurry - the work needs to be completed by 31st March 2021 – so you need to start planning for your warmer, more comfortable and more energy efficient home right away!

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