Updated Feb 11, 2021

Money withdrawn from green homes grant programme

People are experiencing long delays for grants as part of the green homes grant programme, with some householders waiting nearly five months.

The programme, which was revealed as one of the Government's chief contributions towards a green recovery, has been slow to provide grants for work done leaving some installers out of pocket and forced to lay off staff.

The programme involved householders being able to apply for grants of £5,000 to £10,000 to pay for heating and insulation.

£1.5bn was set aside to improve homes and make them less carbon intensive, but as much as 95% of that amount has been left unspent due to delays in paying money to installers. Another £500m was set aside for local authorities bringing it to £2bn.

An extension has been made to the grants which will not run until March 2022, however the business minister revealed that the £2bn available would not be rolled over into the next financial year from March.

In response to the question of whether the money made available for the green homes grant programme to March 2021 would be rolled over the business minister replied:

"The original funding for the green homes grant voucher scheme was announced as a short-term stimulus, for use in the 2020-21 financial year only."

It was then revealed that the chancellor would provide the much smaller amount of £320m from March this year, effectively withdrawing huge amounts of money from the green homes programme.

The Chief Executive of Solar Energy UK, Chris Hewett said if the money was removed it "would be an alarming early failure of the Government's 10-point plan for a green recovery, transforming a flagship policy into something tokenistic".

John Alker, the director of policy and places at the UK Green Building Council expressed disappointment with the scheme and commented:

"The problems with the scheme have not been about consumer appetite, but with the scheme's administration, with householders having to wait months in some cases, and installers having to wait similar amounts of time to get paid for works done."

At the start of the programme, a target of 600,000 vouchers was made, so far only 21,000 have been given.