Green Homes Grant: Eligibility Criteria & How to Apply
The Green Homes Grant covers improvements worth up to £10,000 to help make your home more energy-efficient. Read on to see if you’re eligible for this recently-launched government grant and apply today.
APRIL 2021 UPDATE: Green Homes Grant axed The government has announced that the Green Homes Grant scheme is to be scrapped, just six months after it launched. Those who have already had their applications for vouchers accepted will continue to receive any money owed, but no new applications will be accepted after the end of April 2021. If you have missed out on the Green Homes Grant, you may wish to see if you qualify for support on the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme instead.
What is the Green Homes Grant?
The Green Homes Grant is a government scheme to help homeowners and landlords in England cover the cost of certain energy saving home improvements.
Around 600,000 homes are expected to benefit from the scheme, which could help save up to £600 a year on energy bills while supporting over 100,000 jobs in green construction.
The Green Homes Grant is issued as vouchers worth up to £5,000 - or £10,000 if you receive certain benefits.
When does the Green Homes Grant start?
Applications for the Green Homes Grant opened on 30 September 2020. Green Homes Grant vouchers are valid for three months from the date they are issued or until 31 March 2022 (whichever is earliest).
Do I qualify for the Green Homes Grant?
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If you are a homeowner or landlord in England, you may qualify for funding under the Green Homes Grant. Those eligible include owner-occupiers, social and private landlords and park homeowners.
The scheme does not include new-build homes that have not yet been occupied, while those who have already received a grant under the Local Authority Delivery Scheme also do not qualify.
If you meet the above conditions, you can apply for funding of at least two thirds the cost of eligible home improvements up to a maximum value of £5,000.
You may also qualify for extra support of up to £10,000 to cover the entire cost of home improvements if you receive certain benefits. To be eligible for the ‘low-income’ scheme, you must be a homeowner living in the property (not a landlord) and receiving one of the following:
- Income-based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)
- Income-based Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)
- Income Support (IS)
- Pension Guarantee Credit
- Working Tax Credit (WTC)
- Child Tax Credits (CTC)
- Universal Credit (UC)
- Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- Attendance Allowance
- Carer’s Allowance
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
- Contribution-based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)
- Contribution-based Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)
- Housing Benefit
Is the Green Homes Grant available in Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales?
At present, the Green Homes Grant is only available in England. However, the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is another similar government energy efficiency scheme that is available to homes across the whole of Great Britain.
In addition to the Green Homes Grant and ECO, there are also a number of alternative energy initiatives available for those live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
To learn more about energy schemes in Scotland, get in touch with Home Energy Scotland on 0808 808 2283 (Mon-Fri 8am-8pm or Sat 9am-5pm). Lines can often be busy in the evenings and weekends, so we recommend calling earlier on a weekday, if possible.
In Wales, the Nest Scheme may cover free home energy efficiency improvements including a new boiler, central heating and insulation, if you are eligible. To find out more, speak to a Nest Advisor by calling 0808 808 2244 (Mon-Fri 9am-6pm).
If you live in Northern Ireland, you may qualify for energy efficiency grants such as the Affordable Warmth or Boiler Replacement schemes. For more information, contact NI Energy Advice on 0800 111 4455 (Mon-Fri 8.30am-5pm).
Don’t qualify for the Green Homes Grant?There are a number of other energy grants and schemes that you may still be eligible for, such as the Warm Home Discount, Winter Fuel Payment and Cold Weather Payment. Learn more by visiting Energy Schemes.
Which improvements does the grant cover?
Eligible improvements are split into two categories - primary measures, such as insulation and low-carbon heating, and secondary measures, which include windows and doors, heating controls and draught proofing.
Primary measure improvements
To qualify for the Green Homes Grant, you must install either insulation or low-carbon heating. These are known as ‘primary measures’ under the scheme and include:
- Insulation: solid wall insulation, cavity wall insulation, under-floor insulation, loft insulation, flat roof insulation, room-in-roof insulation or park home insulation.
- Low-carbon heating: air-source heat pump, ground-source heat pump or solar thermal water heating.
Biomass boilers are also considered a primary measure, though the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has yet to announce details about conditions for installing them.
If you already have existing insulation or low-carbon heating installed in your home, you can apply for vouchers to top-up or improve them. However, the Green Home Grant can not be be used to replace existing measures.
Secondary measure improvements
If you use the Green Homes Grant scheme to install one of the primary improvements listed above, you can also claim vouchers for a ‘secondary’ energy efficent measure. These include:
- Windows: double glazing, triple glazing or secondary glazing windows (only if replacing single glazing)
- Doors: energy efficient doors (only if replacing doors installed before 2002)
- Heating controls and installation: hot water tank thermostats, appliance thermostats, hot water tank insulation, smart heating controls, zone controls, thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs)
- Draught proofing
Will the Green Homes Grant cover solar panels?
Solar thermal panels are covered by the Green Homes Grant. Also known as solar water heating, this uses panels to heat your home water supply by sunlight.
However, solar photovoltaic (PV) panels which generate electricity are not covered by the scheme.
Does the Green Homes Grant include boilers?
The Green Homes Grant does not cover boiler improvements or replacements. Vouchers can, however, be used for installing alternative low-carbon heating, such as air-source heat pumps, ground-source heat pumps and solar thermal water heating.
Can I use the Green Homes Grant for double glazing windows?
Double glazing, triple glazing and secondary glazing are all covered under the scheme as ‘secondary measure’ improvements. This means that you must also install one of the ‘primary measures’ first for your window improvements to qualify for Green Homes Grant vouchers. You must also be replacing single glazing, rather than existing double glazing windows to be eligible.
Does the Green Homes Grant cover home improvement work that has already been finished?
Unfortunately not. To qualify, improvement works must have been started after the Green Homes Grant was first introduced, in September 2020.
How to apply for the Green Homes Grant
Applications for the scheme opened in late September 2020. At present it is only possible to apply for the Green Homes Grant online, as applications are not being accepted over the phone or by post.
- Step 1: Use the Simple Energy Advice Service to choose which primary improvements you would like and get an estimate of how much they will cost.
- Step 2: Find a TrustMark-registered contractor to get a survey and quote.
- Step 3: Once you’ve agreed on the works, apply online using the government’s Green Homes Grant application service.
- Step 4: If your application is successful, you’ll receive a voucher to give to the tradesperson carrying out the improvements, which can be redeemed once all the terms and conditions of the scheme have been met.
Can I combine the Green Homes Grant and RHI payments?
The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is a scheme that provides financial support to households which use certain renewable technologies to heat their homes, such as heat pumps and solar thermal panels.
You may still be eligible for RHI payments if you receive the Green Homes Grant, depending on how much of the cost of your low-carbon heating was covered by grant vouchers:
- If the cost of your renewable heating system and its installation were entirely covered by the Green Homes Grant, you are unable to claim RHI payments.
- If only part of the cost was covered, you are able to join the RHI scheme, though payments will be reduced according to how Green Home Grant vouchers covered your heating system and installation costs.
If applying for both schemes, you should submit your Green Homes Grant application first and let Ofgem know that you have done so when you apply for the Renewable Heat Incentive.
Hold on to any invoices and receipts for work carried out on the Gren Home Grant, as you will need to provide these when you apply for the RHI.
Keep in mind that the RHI has a different set of eligibility criteria which you will need to meet, even if you have already qualified for the Green Home Grant.