The UK Government has announced its biggest ever upgrade package for the nation’s buildings in a generation. Homes, schools, and hospitals throughout England will be greener and cheaper to run thanks to a £3 billion plan to upgrade buildings.
As of Wednesday 30 September 2020, homeowners can sign up for big savings on upgrades to their houses thanks to the Government’s £2 billion Green Homes Grant (GHG). An additional £1 billion has also been announced to improve the energy efficiency of publicly owned buildings.
The GHG scheme will see the UK Government fund up to two-thirds of the cost of home improvements up to £5,000. Those homeowners who have low incomes, including those on certain benefits, are eligible for grants which cover 100% of the cost of work up to £10K. The scheme is set to improve the energy efficiency of more than 60,000 homes.
Grants are to be offered to cover green home improvements ranging from insulation of walls, floors and roofs, to the installation of double or triple glazing when replacing single glazed windows, and low-carbon heating like heat pumps or solar thermal – measures which could reduce household bills, and help save up to £600 per year.
It will cut homeowners’ energy bills and carbon emissions, whilst also supporting more than 100,000 jobs in green construction for local plumbers, builders and tradespeople throughout the UK.
The launch of the Green Homes Grant forms part of a wider plan to upgrade the nation’s buildings expected to support an additional 120,000 jobs, which also includes:
- £1 billion to boost the energy efficiency of public buildings, including schools and hospitals through a Public Sector Decarbonisation Fund
- new measures to ensure nearly 3 million privately rented homes are upgraded to modern energy efficiency standards by 2028
- £50 million to improve the energy efficiency of social housing
£500 of the Green Homes Grant has been assigned to local authorities to provide green home improvements for households with an income of under £30,000.
Business and Energy Secretary Alok Sharma said: “Our plan to upgrade the nation’s buildings and help build back better is good news for jobs, the environment and people’s back pockets, as we reduce emissions and help cut energy bills.
“I urge everyone to visit the Green Home Grants website to see how they can make the most of this fantastic scheme.”
Tenants are also to benefit from the Government’s plant to boost energy efficiency thanks to proposals for the private rental sector. The improvements will be achieved by raising the energy performance standard of privately-rented properties, with landlords having to ensure homes meet Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Band C requirements.
In a further boost, the government is making £50 million available for social housing through a demonstrator project for the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF). This UK-wide demonstrator scheme will see grants supplied to upgrade the energy efficiency of over 2000 of the worst-performing social homes. It is estimated that those living in upgraded properties will save between £300 and £500 on their energy bills each year. As well as helping to meet the country’s net zero emissions target, the SHDF Demonstrator will support up to 3,200 jobs in the green energy sector.
Over the past decade, the UK has cut carbon emissions by more than any similar developed country. In 2019, UK emissions were 42% lower than in 1990, while our economy over the same period grew by 72%.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: ”We promised to support jobs and protect the environment – and the Green Homes Grant delivers on this. We’re giving homeowners, landlords and local authorities the funding they need to hire local tradespeople and make our homes more energy efficient. By supporting the green van men and women, we’ll save money, save jobs and save the planet.”
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