Grabbing a Green Grant
The Government has recently announced the extension of the time frame for its Green Home Grants. This has come as welcome news to one our team, Anuja Saunders, who has been trying to navigate the process.
As we entered LockDown 2.0 this autumn, I decided that having had enough of pursuing the quest to make the perfect loaf of bread, I would instead would devote my time to getting a Green Homes Grant as part of the 2nd pilot for Neutral Home. This scheme offers grants of up to £5000 which cover two thirds of the costs of getting energy efficiency measures carried out on your home. It’s an initiative to help householders cut down on energy bills and improve their families carbon footprint. It also should offer a much-needed boost to businesses, often small-scale enterprises, which provide and fit insulation and energy efficiency measures.
I have recently moved into a house which I am fearful might be a bit of an energy monster. Its an old farmhouse which has been extended, which means some decent insulation in places but lots of single glazed windows in others. I’d really like to use the grant to get some improved loft insulation and maybe, at least one of those wind tunnel windows changed into double glazing.
As I start digging through the fine detail of the scheme it’s clear that it’s not going to be that simple. First of all, there is the little problem of “Primary “measures and “Secondary” measures. It appears that your initial grant voucher must be used to carry out some work from the Primary list before you can tackle anything else. This list includes things like loft insulation, cavity wall or floor insulation or alternatively the fitting of a ground source or air source heat pump.
Unfortunately, the construction of the house rules out wall insulation and I don’t have the considerable budget required for a ground source heat pump. So that just leaves loft insulation. I am happy to find that windows are on the second list- but now comes the catch. The grant for the secondary measures cannot exceed the grant for any primary measures. So, in other words, what I can spend on a relatively cheap measure, like loft insulation will cap any amount towards the expensive measure, like double glazing. Ah ha- clever.
Next problem is actually finding a contractor. The scheme can only be delivered by TrustMark registered businesses. I understand this a reasonable attempt to prevent “cowboy” operators ripping off the general public. ( It would be unthinkable wouldn’t it, if a company set up only a few weeks ago by say a Miami jewellery designer or pest control company could get its hands on millions of pounds of government money and then not deliver on the contract…!) The Trustmark scheme has been around for a number of years but a search on my area delivers only 3 results. Two of those companies are in the North West of England, some 180 miles away! One company is a little more local and I give them a call. They are maxed out busy but by lucky chance the chap I speak to lives in the same town as me and will in fit a visit in on his way home. Fingers crossed.