THE chancellor has announced homeowners will be given £5,000 in energy saving vouchers to help them insulate their homes.
The new policy is part of Rishi Sunak’s plans to create more than 100,000 green jobs and kickstart the economy after the coronavirus lockdown.
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This week, the Treasury announced more details about the scheme – including when the vouchers will be sent to homeowners and how to apply for one.
Business and energy secretary Alok Sharma said the scheme will mean "hundreds of pounds off energy bills every year".
What are the vouchers?
The grants – confirmed on July 8 in the mini-Budget – will be part of a wider £3billion investment in green technology, with the UK aiming to go carbon neutral by 2050.
£1billion of this will be spent on revamping public buildings and social housing, while the extra £2billion will go towards the vouchers and making homes more energy-efficient.
Taking part in the scheme could save you more than £200 annually on your bills and reduce your carbon footprint by cutting 700kg of CO2 a year from your home alone.
The vouchers are worth up to £5,000 for homeowners and under the scheme the government will cover at least two thirds of the cost that homeowners in England spend on green upgrades.
This means a householder would pay £1,320 of a £4,000 bill for cavity wall and floor insulation for a semi-detached or end-terrace house, while the government would pay the rest of the bill costing £2,680.
But households on low incomes can receive vouchers covering 100 per cent of the cost of the improvements, up to a maximum of £10,000.
People who qualify for the low-income scheme must receive at least one of the following benefits:
- 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
What was announced in the mini-Budget?
CHANCELLOR Rishi Sunak has announced a £30billion "plan for jobs
The changes were announced in what's been described as a "mini-Budget" following the coronavirus.
Here's what the chancellor announced:
- Young people hired by firms will get their wages subsidised by the government under its £2billion Kickstart Scheme
- House buyers will see stamp duty cut on homes up to £500,000 until next year – we've explained how it will work
- Households will get £5,000 in energy saving vouchers to help them insulate their homes – here's what you need to know
- Businesses will be given a £1,000 bonus for each employee they bring back from furlough
- Pubs and restaurant bills will be slashed by £10 a head in August
- VAT will be cut from 20 per cent to 5 per cent for businesses in the hospitality and tourism industry
How does it work?
Later on this month (August), homeowners and landlords will be able to go the Simple Energy Advice (SEA) website and get advice about which energy saving measure would suit them best.
You'll then be sent a list ofTrustMark or Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) registered tradespeople (schemes which list approved construction workers by the government) in your local area to carry out the work.
Once the work has been agreed, the vouchers will start to be issued from the end of September.
Tradespeople have to register for TrustMark or MCS accreditation themselves to take part in the scheme and benefit from the work.
Be wary if you've been called saying you're eligible for a Green Homes Grant as fraud prevention scheme Cifas says it's received reports of scammers trying to con people out of money by pretending to be part of the scheme.
What can the money be spent on?
The vouchers will be for homeowners in England and will only cover the following energy-saving measures:
- Solid wall, under-floor, cavity wall or roof insulation
- Air source or ground source heat pump
- Solar thermal (solar panels which can be used for heating water)
- Double or triple glazing/ secondary glazing, when replacing single glazing
- Upgrading to energy efficient doors
- Hot water tank/ appliance tank thermostats/ heating controls
Who can apply for one?
Any owner occupiers or social or private landlords in England can apply.
The government has said more than 600,000 homes will benefit from the scheme and it will support 100,000 jobs in green construction.
When you log on to the Simple Energy Advice (SEA) website to get advice, that's also where you apply for a grant.
The government hasn't said what date the scheme opens yet so we will update this article as soon as we are told.
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