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Green Homes Grant slammed – what went wrong for the ill-fated scheme?

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In September 2020, the Green Homes Grant was launched by the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The £1.5 billion scheme was created to make energy-efficient home improvements more affordable for landlords and homeowners by helping to reduce the total cost of energy bills. 

Initially, the scheme was expected to end on March 31 2022, but came to a halt in March this year due to several inconsistencies during the first few months. .

As a nationwide provider of property services including Energy Performance Certificates, Electrical Installation Condition Reports and more, we recognise how homeowners and landlords could be impacted by the sudden end of this scheme without an obvious replacement.

Here, we investigate what went wrong for the Green Homes Grant and the criticism it has faced for being such a disastrous rollout.

What did the Green Homes Grant comprise of?

Originally, the scheme set out to support around 600,000 households in saving up to £600 on their energy bills. However, the scheme failed to achieve this target as only 10% of households were reached.

According to recent figures, the cost of energy has soared by 250% since the beginning of 2021, meaning if the scheme did meet the expectations, it would have helped many landlords and homeowners across the UK save on the rising cost of energy.

In a report conducted by National Audit Office (NAO), it was uncovered that the BEIS did not fulfil its plans because the 12-week timescale taken to design the entire scheme was ‘rushed’ and ‘overambitious’.

The NAO also reported that £50.5 million (more than £1,000 per home upgrade) would be required solely for administration, leading the report to conclude that the extremely expensive cost was one of the main reasons for its inability to be executed correctly.

Homeowners and installer experiences of the scheme

In a survey conducted by the Environmental Audit Committee, 86% of the participants expressed that their experience during the Green Homes Grant process was poor.

Between October 2020 and April 2021, over 3,000 complaints were made to the administrator and the BEIS about the scheme.

To make use of the discount, successful applicants would need to have a Green Homes Grant voucher. Under £200 million of the £2 billion worth of vouchers were delivered and there were delays issuing vouchers to landlords and homeowners who had already applied. There were also delays when paying installers.

At Propcert, we know that an installation can take as little as an hour or as long as three weeks, but this all depends on various factors such as the size of the property. We understand how delays can impact all parties and to avoid this with all our services we plan all stages in advance to ensure a seamless process.

If you are a landlord or homeowner unsure about who you wish to conduct your Electrical Installation Condition Reports (EICRs), we can assist with our list of fully qualified and registered engineers.

Poorly implemented and executed

The inability to understand the challenges, requirements and opinions of installers largely contributed to the poor execution of the scheme. When providing any property service, good communication with all parties to create a deadline that can be achieved is vital – and is something that was not achieved with the hasty and ultimately ill-thought-out Green Homes Grant, which in theory was a welcome and much-needed initiative, but suffered from very bad implementation.

The need for a strong, effective green scheme offering incentives to homeowners and landlords to improve the energy efficiency and eco-friendliness of their homes is still very much there, and arguably more vital than ever as the UK tries to reach its net-zero carbon targets by 2050. But the Green Homes Grant wasn’t it, and any future scheme will need to have the industry and individuals on side to have any hope of wide-ranging success.

In the meantime, our committed team of energy assessors, engineers and office staff aim to provide the highest standards when it comes to helping you improve on energy efficiency. Whatever the circumstance, we promise to get the service completed as quickly as possible with as little interference so that the landlord, tenant, and letting agent have the best experience possible.

PropCert was established in 2010 to meet the growing requirements of EPCs for the private and public sector and has evolved into providing other services as we have grown. You can discover more about us here.

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