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Green Homes Grant scheme funding slashed

Emma Lunn
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Emma Lunn

Funding for the home improvement voucher scheme is set to be slashed by about £1.5bn from March.

The Green Homes Grant scheme was announced in the Summer Budget in July as part of a £3bn investment package to support about 140,000 green jobs and upgrade buildings and reduce emissions.

Homeowners in England, including landlords, can get up to £5,000 to pay part of the cost of energy saving measures such as the ‘primary measure’ of insulation, including solid and cavity walls, lofts and park homes.

The government committed £2bn for the initiative, with £1.5bn of this earmarked for households, and the other £500m going to local authority led schemes.

When it first launched in September 2020, there was a tight six-month deadline to get any work done, but it was extended until 31 March 2022 after people complained about being unable to find a registered trader or installer and were worried they’d miss the deadline.

But it’s now been revealed in a written answer by minister of state for business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS) Anne-Marie Trevelyan that the original £2bn in funding is only to be used in the 2020/21 financial year and any leftover cash won’t be rolled over.

As of 26 January, just 17,618 vouchers had been issued to households, accounting for just £73.1m of the cash set aside to fund the scheme.

Only £320m of funding has been set aside for the scheme in 2021/22.

Trevelyan was answering a question from Labour MP Catherine West.

The answer said: “The original funding for the Green Homes Grant voucher scheme was announced as a short-term stimulus, for use in the 2020/21 financial year only.

“In the 2020 Spending Review, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr chancellor of the exchequer announced £320m of funding for the green homes grant voucher scheme for 2021/22, as part of funding allocated to make homes and buildings more energy efficient and less carbon intensive.”

The Department for Business (BEIS), which runs the Green Homes Grant scheme, confirmed that just £320m has been set aside for 2021/22.

MoneySavingExpert.com founder Martin Lewis tweeted that while the scheme was a “great concept”, it had been “hideously designed” and was “overly complex and tough to access”.