How can government’s green money help me insulate my house?

Vouchers to cover cost of energy-saving home improvements up to £5,000

Chiara Giordano
Wednesday 08 July 2020 20:34 BST
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Homeowners are set to receive vouchers worth thousands of pounds to help make their properties more energy efficient and potentially save hundreds on bills each year.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced homeowners and landlords will be given up to £5,000 under the £2bn green homes grant to make energy-saving home improvements.

For those on the lowest incomes, the scheme will fully fund energy efficiency measures of up to £10,000 per household.

How will the vouchers scheme work?

The government will cover the cost of at least two-thirds of the costs of insulation and other energy efficiency measures up to £5,000.

This equates to at least £2 for every £1 homeowners and landlords spend to make their homes more energy efficient, up to £5,000 per household.

For those on the lowest incomes, the scheme will fully fund energy efficiency measures of up to £10,000 per household, the Treasury said.

Energy-saving measures include upgrades such as insulation, double glazing, low-energy lighting and energy-efficient doors.

Business secretary Alok Sharma said the funding for home insulation, such as loft insulation and triple glazing installation, will protect jobs and help reduce energy bills.

“Ultimately this is about providing and supporting jobs,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“This is a policy which is about putting money into people’s pockets — people will save hundreds of pounds a year in terms of lower energy costs.

“It is good for jobs and, of course, ultimately it is also very good for the environment.”

What other benefits are there?

The £2bn green homes grant is part of a wider £3bn energy efficiency plan that also includes £1bn in funding to improve the energy efficiency and low carbon heating for schools, hospitals, prisons, military bases and other public buildings and £50m to pilot ways to cut carbon from social housing.

Mr Sunak said the measures would make 650,000 homes more energy efficient, save households up to £300 on their annual bills, cut carbon emissions by 500,000 tonnes and support 140,000 jobs.

What are green campaigners saying?

Though it has been welcomed as a “strong start” by Greenpeace, the environmental group warned much more funding and investment would be needed in homes, alongside areas such as clean transport and the power sector.

Rosie Rogers, from Greenpeace UK, whose activists changed the road signs at Parliament Square so they read “Green Recovery” in every direction, said: “All roads must now lead to a green recovery — there is no alternative option.”

She urged: “An initial £15 billion cash injection in green ‘shovel ready’ projects would create hundreds of thousands of new jobs, almost immediately, right across the country, while making transport greener, homes warmer, energy bills lower and restoring nature.”

Chris Venables, head of politics at Green Alliance, said: “Today’s speech could mark a really positive first step on the green recovery, but only if this ambition is continued throughout the rest of the year, and particularly in the autumn budget.

“We urgently need to see a clear funding strategy for supporting public transport in its time of crisis, a long-term strategy to ensure all buildings are warm and cheap to run, reversing the catastrophic declines in nature, and investing in the technology of the future.

“The jury is still very much out on how green the UK Government’s recovery will be, and we’ll be watching over the coming weeks and months.”

There have been widespread calls for a green recovery, including calls for the government to deliver on its £9.2 billion manifesto pledge for energy efficiency and investment in schemes to help nature recover, and make sure business bailouts have “green strings” attached.

Additional reporting by PA

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