Green Homes Grant Chaos Sees Complaints Pile Up
Almost 21,000 households have applied for the government’s £2bn efficiency scheme - but many more are missing out due to its chaotic rollout.
The Green Homes Grant, which opened to applicants at the end of September, offers homeowners and landlords in England up to £10,000 in vouchers towards energy efficiency improvements, such as insulation and low-carbon heating.
Applicants left ‘frustrated and confused’
In order to access the grant, applicants must first request a quote from a TrustMark-registered contractor and then apply online using the government’s Green Homes Grant website.
However, many report they have been left frustrated by the complicated application process and have given up due to a lack of local accredited installers, while others have been told there are no available traders until next year.[block:energy_schemes_content1]
Some took to social media to vent their frustrations. Brian Slakk, a homeowner in Leeds, wrote: “I can not find one installer who will install internal solid wall insulation. This is just government soundbites and most installers will not touch the scheme.”
Juliet Bryce commented: “No TrustMark tradesmen in Norfolk will touch this scheme. Just another Government scam to make it look like they are helping.”
A number of recommended contractors also claim they have been given little or no information as to how the scheme should operate and therefore have refused to carry out work under the Green Homes Grant.
Lorna Rainey shared her own experience on Facebook: “Honestly I've given up already. Half the installers don't understand the system and quite frankly the whole thing is a nightmare to get through.”
Will the Green Homes Grant deadline be extended?
With complaints about the Green Homes Grant piling up, experts have started calling for the scheme to be extended beyond its current deadline of 31 March 2021, to avoid homeowners rushing into costly upgrades and allow installers more time to understand the scheme and work through the backlog of applicants.
While the government did not confirm whether the deadline would be extended, it has said that potential funding for future years will be determined in due course. A spokesperson for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said: “'We are working hard to ensure there are enough accredited installers to meet demand.
“Over 1,000 companies have signed up so far with more registering every single day, including many businesses that operate nationally with substantial capacity to carry out work across the country.”
Beware Green Homes Grant scams
Despite the difficulties in finding an available tradesperson, homeowners are being warned to remain vigilant when choosing an installer to carry out the work.
With any new government scheme involving large sums of money, unscrupulous scammers rear their heads. The Green Homes Grant is no different, with instances of rogue traders doorstepping homeowners and cold calling being reported over the last couple of months.
While approaching customers directly is not banned under the terms of the scheme, installers must be registered with TrustMark and follow its code of conduct.
Trading Standards has advised homeowners to say no to cold callers, apply for a voucher first and don’t be rushed into making a quick decision.
Green Homes Grant alternatives
Besides the Green Homes Grant, there are a number of alternative ways to tackle your carbon emissions and become more energy-efficient.[block:energy_environment_content2]
Energy Company Obligation (ECO)
The Energy Company Obligation is another government scheme that aims to reduce carbon emissions by financing energy efficiency measures in the home. Unlike the Green Homes Grant, which is only available for homeowners in England, ECO is open to households all across Great Britain.
While carbon offsetting won’t help your home become more energy-efficient, it can fund projects to remove carbon emissions from the environment, such as planting trees or financing wind turbines to replace fossil fuel energy sources.
Find out what Selectra is doing about our emissions by visiting the Gandhi Project.
Switch to a green energy plan
If you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint, fight climate change and save money, a green energy tariff could be for you. These days, 100% renewable electricity plans can be just as cheap as those sourced from fossil fuels, if not cheaper! To learn more and find a quote, speak to an energy expert today by calling 020 3936 0059 or get a free callback now.