Green Homes Grant – the latest home improvement grant
The Green Homes Grant is a voucher usually worth up to £5,000 towards the cost of installing energy efficient improvements to your home, if you live in England.
It can be used for a fairly wide range of improvements including insulation, low carbon heating such as heat pumps, double or triple glazing and heating controls.
The voucher will cover two-thirds of the cost of eligible improvements, up to the maximum contribution of £5,000. But if you receive certain benefits, your voucher could cover 100% of the cost up to a maximum of £10,000.
Watch out for home improvement grant backlogs
Whilst the Green Homes Grant looks like a great initiative, the voucher must be redeemed (and improvements completed) by 31 March 2021. In the current climate, many homeowners are struggling to find an accredited contractor that is actually available to complete the work. That’s because many have been furloughed following the Covid-19 restrictions.
As a result, many contractors have been overwhelmed with requests and that means you are probably going to have to shop around to find a contractor that has availability, even if you qualify for the voucher.
Home improvement grants – check the limitations
So that you don’t waste your time filling in forms unnecessarily, it pays to look first at what type of work is eligible for government grants. For example, the Green Homes Grant will cover double or triple glazing where replacing single glazing, but not where replacing old double glazing – even if it is 25 years old.
When you come up against that kind of restriction, it is time to shop around to check whether you could get funding from another source.
Alternatives to the Green Homes Grant
The Green Homes Grant is just one type of government grant for home improvement. In fact, there is a wide range of grants available targeting home improvement. This includes funding for the installation of disabled facilities (like ramps), new boilers, insulation, electrical heating and first time central heating installation.
Bear in mind that people on low income stand to benefit most from government grants, although loans may be more widely accessible.
It is always worth checking what is on offer locally when you are not covered by the other schemes. Your local authority may offer different types of help with home improvements. Be warned though — they often come with their own rules and criteria.
For roof repairs, support is available for people who are low income or vulnerable and where the home is deemed to be below acceptable living standards. The best way of finding out what is available in your area could be to speak to reputable local roofers about roofing grants.
Getting help finding the right home improvement grants
Navigating the landscape for home improvement grants can be a bit of a nightmare. If you know what national scheme you hope to use, check the www.gov.uk website for a description of what types of work are eligible, and how to apply.
If you are not sure what you want then sites like Entitled to offer information on what is available and provides links to sites where you can apply directly.
If you need more personal one-to-one help, to identify what is available in your area, the Citizens Advice Bureau offers detailed information online and you can speak to them directly.
While the landscape of support for home improvements is confusing, there are some great government grant out there.
Your takeaways should be to plan ahead to avoid backlogs and shop around if you don’t fit into a particular scheme’s criteria.
If you want to find out how much you can afford to contribute towards home repairs with the help of grants, use an open banking app like Money Dashboard which can tell you how much is available after your monthly expenses.