Ending Of Green Homes Grant A ‘Missed Opportunity’
The Green Homes Grant, which was launched by the government in September 2020, was scrapped on 31st March after only six months. The £1.5bn scheme was intended to help homeowners install energy efficient boilers and heat pumps, upgrade insulation, and take other measures to reduce emissions and lower bills.
Originally, the scheme was set to run until March 2022, but it was scrapped after homeowners signed up in far fewer numbers than was expected. According to a report on the Roofing Today website, just 10% of the 600,000 of eligible homeowners applied for the vouchers of up to £10,000 each.
The failure of the scheme is being blamed on an overly complicated applications process, delays in the issuing of vouchers, and poor communication with local tradespeople. A government source blamed the poor uptake on people being reluctant to have workers in their homes during the pandemic, but this claim has been refuted by those in the industry.
Home Building UK reports that the scheme is now being replaced with a far smaller grant of £320m, to be administered by local authorities. It will be targeted at lower income households. This move has drawn criticism from a range of sources, who argue that green homes need to be top of the agenda for tackling climate change.
In response to the announcement of new funding for local authorities, Matthew Pennycook, the shadow minister for climate change, said: "The funding announced doesn't even come close to plugging the investment gap created by the government's decision to slash more than £1bn from its Green Homes Grant scheme and then scrap it altogether."
It is thought there are 19 million homes in the UK in need of an environmental upgrade, and to help reach the net zero carbon emissions target by 2050, there is still a lot of work to be done.
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