Improving Your Home With The Green Homes Grant
At the end of September, the Government launched the Green Homes Grant, offering all homeowners and landlords in England a voucher that covers up to two-thirds of the cost towards eco-home improvements (up to £5,000) Low-income households can get 100% of the costs of work covered up to £10,000.
It’s a great opportunity, as eco-home improvements can help to save up to £600 a year on household utility bills as well as cutting carbon emissions.
Through this scheme, you will be able to get several eco-friendly improvements done. The vouchers must be used to install at least one primary home insulation or low carbon heating measure. If you choose to install at least one of the primary measures, you can use your voucher to help cover the cost of secondary measures.
The grant for the secondary measure is capped at the value of the grant provided for the primary measures. For example, if you receive a £400 voucher for a primary measure such as a cavity wall insulation, you will be able to receive a maximum of £400 for a secondary measure such as an energy-efficient replacement door. (As per www.greenhomesgrant.campaign.gov.uk )
The voucher must be used to install at least 1 primary measure. This can be an insulation measure and/or a low carbon heating measure.
- solid wall
- cavity wall
- flat or pitched roof
- room in roof
- insulating a park home
Did you know that one-third of all heat lost in homes goes through walls, and a quarter escapes through the roof? Having insulation fitted will no doubt save energy and reduce your heating bill. There are two types of wall, cavity and solid. Cavity walled houses were usually built around from 1990 onwards. The solid-walled houses are usually found in properties over 100 years old.
Roof/loft insulation creates a barrier that stops heat rising from the lower levels of your house escaping through the roof.
Having insulation fitted is a simple and quick process, with the energy bill savings claimed back over just five years, possibly less.
Low carbon heat measures:
- biomass boilers – these are very similar to conventional gas boilers, but instead of using gas to produce the heat, they combust sustainably sourced wood pellets.
- air source, ground source, or hybrid heat pump – A source of renewable energy, ASHPs (air source heat pumps) work by absorbing heat from the outside air to heat your home and water. It’s not just for the summer, even when it’s as cold as -15°c, ASHPs can still extract heat! ASHPs are more effective at a lower temperature than a standard boiler system, which will reduce carbon emissions and heating costs.
Ground source heat pumps work by extracting heat from the ground through a loop of pipe that can be buried in your garden. Then the heat from the ground is absorbed into a mixture in the pipe made from water and antifreeze, then it goes through a heat exchanger into the heat pump. It then heats your radiators, hot water, underfloor, or warm air heating systems.
- solar thermal – this is a renewable energy source. Each solar panel uses a small amount of electricity to catch the sun’s energy and use it for solar water heating. They can create enough power to provide half of your hot water usage. They can also last at least 25 years, so a worthwhile investment.
If you install at least 1 primary measure, your voucher can be used to help cover the cost of any of the following secondary measures:
- draught-proofing – without it, your home can lose up to 20% of heat through gaps in and around the house, in areas such as around pipework, loft hatches, skirting boards, and the cat flap. Draught proofing not only reduces draughts but can also reduce noise and dirt entering the home.
- double/triple glazing (where replacing single glazed windows) Both styles come with many benefits, such as less heat loss, reduced noise pollution, and increased home security (much harder to break than single glazing)
- secondary glazing (in addition to single glazing)
- external energy-efficient doors (replacing single glazed or solid doors installed before 2002) – great for keeping warm air in and cold air out
- heating controls – allowing you to control and customise your heating in your home, room by room, with through your smartphone, tablet, or even Amazon Alexa or Google Home. (Imagine being able to call out to turn your heating up?!) You can even be on holiday and turn it on ready for when you arrive home.
- hot water tank thermostats and insulation – if your hot water cylinder is not insulated, you could be losing up to £100 a year in lost heat.
Tradespeople and businesses that are appropriately certified to install energy efficiency and/or low carbon heating improvements in homes will be registered with TrustMark to carry out work under the scheme. This confirms to homeowners that all installations will be met with high standards.
To apply for a Green Home Grant voucher, visit www.greenhomesgrant.campaign.gov.uk