The Government's Green Homes
Part of the Conservative government's plans to "level up" the United Kingdom and reduce carbon emissions to a net zero includes the creation of a new set of "green homes" powered by clean energy. The aim of this initiative is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, thus making our cities more eco-friendly and protecting the environment that little bit more. The way that it works is that landlords and homeowners may apply for the Green Homes Grant, wherein the government will part-fund the costs for Green Homes installers to replace systems such as insulation or heating with more sustainable alternatives. This initiative has continued during the Covid-19 pandemic, and the installers are permitted to continue entering homes even in areas under Tier 3 lockdown.
The Conservative Party laid out in its 2019 Manifesto a desire for what is known as a "Green Industrial Revolution", hearkening back to the first Industrial Revolution, which propelled Britain to the foremost global economic power, called the "workshop of the world" as most of the planet's goods were made in British factories. The Prime Minister seeks to make the United Kingdom a world leader in green technology and innovation and lead the charge against climate change, which is a real and imminent problem for our species. Not only will this plan eradicate Britain's contribution to global climate change, it is also intended to create hundreds of thousands of new skilled jobs in the country and massively expand the nation's clean energy sector. The Green Homes Grant will help private landowners to reduce carbon emissions and get on board with the government's emission reduction scheme by covering a portion of the cost with their £5,000 vouchers.
As mentioned, the government will be handing out vouchers which cover two thirds of the cost of the work done, up to £5,000 for homeowners and landlords. These vouchers can be redeemed to reduce the costs of installing greener systems in their house; the government says that they can cover insulation (park home and flat roof insulation included), low-carbon heat sources such as air source heat pumps and biomass boilers, double and triple glazing (so long as single glazing is being replaced), and hot water tank insulation and thermostats. The voucher can cover the costs of labour, materials and VAT. Households on lower incomes can 100% of the cost covered so long as the cost goes up to £10,000 and no higher. Installations in your home can only be completed by TrustMark-registered installers, so as to ensure good quality and safe installation. If you've read this article so far and are interested, you may be eligible if you live in England and own your own home, your own park home on a residential site, or are a residential landlord in the social renting / private sectors.
The reaction to this grant has, initially, been surprisingly negative. In a survey, 86% of responders said that their experience with the grant has been either Poor or Very Poor. This is of course extraordinarily high for such a negative response, and so feedback has been passed on to the Ministers responsible for the initiative, namely Kwasi Kwarteng. Mr Kwarteng's Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy oversees the execution of the Green Industrial Revolution. The Department must still have faith in the Green Homes Grant, as it has been renewed and extended for another year.