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Green Homes Grant Funding Cut Due To Lack Of Interest

February 12, 2021

By Paul Homewood

 

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Funding for the Green Homes Grant voucher scheme is set to be slashed by around £1.5 billion from April, it’s been revealed.

The Government had set aside a total of £2 billion for the initiative, under which homeowners in England can get up to £5,000 in vouchers to make their homes more energy efficient. £1.5 billion of this was earmarked for households, with the other £500 million going to local authority-led schemes.

When it first launched in September 2020, there was a tight six-month deadline to get any work done, but this has since been extended until 31 March 2022. See our Green Homes Grant guide for more info.

But it’s now been revealed in a written answer by Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan that the original £2 billion in funding is only to be used in the 2020/21 financial year, and any leftover cash won’t be rolled over. As of 26 January 2021, just 17,618 vouchers had been issued to households, accounting for just £73.1 million of the cash set aside to fund the scheme.

https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/2021/02/green-homes-grant-voucher-funding-cut/?mc_cid=026a515106&mc_eid=4961da7cb1

 

It is claimed that the scheme has failed because it is too complex and cumbersome, but that is nonsense – it is taxpayer money we are talking about here, and it is perfectly right that care is taken to make sure it is spent properly.

The real reason is much simpler, and is the same reason why Ed Davey’s Green Deal collapsed due to low take up in 2015 – nobody is interested in this green crap!

This new scheme offers up to £5000, but can only cover two thirds of the total cost, leaving homeowners to cough up for the difference. (Some people on benefits qualify for 100% grants, but they are the last people likely to want to take on such a commitment).

And most people are sensible to have worked out that spending even a third of the cost is a waste of money.

For instance, installing a heat pump will cost upwards of £10000 in most houses, meaning householders must pay at least £5000. Yet we know that heat pumps won’t cut energy bills, they will more likely increase them.

Solar panels as well will cost much more than the £5000 maximum grant, and offer very poor returns.

As for insulation, most homes already have double glazing and loft insulation. Fitting other types of insulation, such as wall insulation, is expensive and offers little in the way of energy saving.

The numbers speak for themselves. When the government introduced the scheme last year, they had a target of 600,000 homes, but only 20,000 vouchers have been issued.

Just as in 2015, when Ed Davey’s scheme collapsed with just 4000 Green Deals signed up in the first two years,  government is finding out that most people have no interest in “saving the planet”, particularly when it might cost them money!

47 Comments
  1. Philip Mulholland permalink
    February 12, 2021 6:31 pm

    Even more good news.

  2. Rowland P permalink
    February 12, 2021 6:53 pm

    The Daily Express is going all out to turn Britain “green”. Just received their latest Green Britain Newsletter and it turned my stomach. However, its circulation is only about 270,000 – not counting online readers.

    • John Palmer permalink
      February 12, 2021 8:10 pm

      Yes, RP, quite so!
      Dale Vince & the new Express Editor…. what a great force for change.
      They’ve given this major trough-er a free voice.
      He’ll be back on the tidal barrage stupidity any day now….
      At least it’s all giving the DE circulation a real (non) boost.

      • Keith Holland permalink
        February 13, 2021 10:40 am

        Use to follow DE online until their green announcement. Now no longer read it. I wonder how many other people have done the same?

    • Julian Flood permalink
      February 13, 2021 9:28 am

      The Ecotricity turbine at Swaffham has a readout at its base giving details of how it has performed. I used the numbers to work out its capacity factor — what percentage of its theoretical out put it has actually achieved. IIRC about 27%.

      I used this figure to prove that a planned turbine above Haverhill would not produce the 35% claimed but about 23% — an office junior had mistakenly used the figures for a bigger generator than the one actually touted — the bigger one would not have attracted the maximum subsidy but it was the sort of mistake anyone could have made. Anyway, it is widely known that the output of turbines is monitored so there can be no accusation of attempted sharp practice. There are hundreds of houses in south Haverhill which are worth 12% more than if the turbine had been allowed.

      The buggers didn’t vote for me in 2017 though.

      JF

  3. tomo permalink
    February 12, 2021 7:17 pm

    Hmmm … I predicted (I did) that ICF would hoover up the lion’s share of available funds for this scheme … – have any of the contractors been paid yet?

    I was reading about a week ago that some had outstanding payments going back to September 2020…

    • Keith Holland permalink
      February 13, 2021 10:43 am

      What do you expect, Johnson never paid any of his bills.

      • tomo permalink
        February 13, 2021 1:53 pm

        The flows of actual funds should be a routine matter of public record and not buried until the inquest….

        Government policy states that central government departments should aim to pay 80% of undisputed invoices within 5 days. The rest must be paid within 30 days. Following the March Budget 2015, all departments must, on a quarterly basis, publish their performance in paying suppliers within these time frames.

        120 days + from ICF can’t be right…..

        After all – they’re proclaimed a crackdown on late payments 2 years ago….

        btw – got any links for Johnson and unpaid bills?

  4. Jack Broughton permalink
    February 12, 2021 7:22 pm

    I have been approached a number of times about various “green” initiatives. While none are of real interest to me, and cavity wall insulation is potentially a disaster, another factor is that the contractors have to be scheme registered, so do not need to offer low price due to the subsidy. However, in the case of a boiler replacement, the price with subsidy exceeded that of equally skilled companies who were not in the scheme.

    I wonder if the government are aware of the gravy train that is set in motion as soon as subsidies become available and the number of charlatans who live parasitically on their / our largesse ?

  5. MrGrimNasty permalink
    February 12, 2021 7:25 pm

    Aside from the whole green policy being a mistake, I think this particular scheme is too complicated/onerous. I would happily take some £ help with insulating my walls DIY, but the current gov. schemes only encourage insulation board suppliers to keep prices higher.

    The trouble is, I suspect, that a simple scheme, discounting the relevant materials/products or a reimbursement once the work is done (DIY or pro), would just invite massive profiteering/fraud – as with covid business loans etc. where the government has been royally shafted.

    But you cannot just expect to wave a wand and upgrade all the housing stock, it won’t happen, it will take many many decades, and green energy is causing price acceleration right now.

    • Mack permalink
      February 12, 2021 9:14 pm

      Indeed, if you look at the ‘Grenfell’ cladding debacle in the U.K., the driving point for much of the introduction of faulty cladding to high rise buildings was a desire to ‘green’ insulate them. The fact that the ‘green’ cladding materials were quite often not fit for purpose and, in fact, a potential accelerant in fire outbreaks, was conveniently ignored. It is interesting that in all of the wailing and gnashing of teeth in the MSM about the plight of Grenfell residents and other occupants of dwellings with similar problems, this salient point is completely airbrushed from history.

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        February 12, 2021 11:35 pm

        …and moreover the building regulations and fire regulations that enabled it were put in place in the light of EU directives. The nastier truth is probably that British civil servants and ministers were behind the push for the EU regulations in the first place. Which explains why no-one likes to talk about it.

      • martinbrumby permalink
        February 12, 2021 11:58 pm

        Mack

        Yes, Grenfell had many millions of public money spent on it to ‘improve insulation values to EU standards.’

        The fact that the ‘fire resistant’ cladding turned the structure into a death trap was just unintended ‘collateral damage’.
        They were also gaily installing gas pipes (supposedly banned in high-rise since the Ronan Point disaster) to try to reduce the cost of unaffordable electrical heating. And buggering up the limited fire doors and compartmentalisation whilst they went about it.

        A shame. If they hadn’t made a completely disastrous cock-up of the job, they would surely have saved almost as much as those ‘smart meters’ they advertise on the telly. (If you ignore those £££Millions)

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      February 13, 2021 9:39 am

      Thanks, you’d happily take my tax money would you!

  6. John Palmer permalink
    February 12, 2021 7:59 pm

    Can you re-arrange the phrase ‘gravy train’ at all?
    Lipstick on a pig, the whole scam.

  7. Nancy & John Hultquist permalink
    February 12, 2021 7:59 pm

    If one starts with the assumption that the Planet needs saving, there is much that can go wrong – and does.

  8. Gamecock permalink
    February 12, 2021 8:04 pm

    ‘The real reason is much simpler, and is the same reason why Ed Davey’s Green Deal collapsed due to low take up in 2015 – nobody is interested in this green crap!’

    While possible, I think the last two comments may be more on track. Any program administered by government is going to be a mess.

    My state of South Carolina put up elaborate Covid-19 information on its health department website. When I became interested in getting vaccinated, as vaccine was becoming available, I went there to find out what to do to get it. When I drilled down on “schedule an appointment,” the page that came up said, “We don’t schedule appointments.” WTF!

    It gets worser. I was telling my state senator about the state moving to the second group of people allowed to get vaccinations, because participation from the first group (70+) was so low that it was time to move on. I griped that I hadn’t gotten it because I couldn’t!

    He told me to go to the health department website and I could schedule it. I knew I couldn’t!
    The health department was actively announcing that you could schedule an appointment through them, and people like my senator believed them. As I did, til I couldn’t.

    It’s quite possible that people started looking into the Green Home Grants and decided it was too much trouble to fool with. Just another government created mess.

    • tomo permalink
      February 12, 2021 8:49 pm

      ……. which is where ICF enter the circus ring?

      Looking at their web site – it seems likely that they might well be involved in the South Carolina vaccine mess. Just look at the jobs on offer!

    • Philip Mulholland permalink
      February 13, 2021 8:11 am

      To Err is Human; To Really Foul Things Up Requires a Computer

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      February 13, 2021 9:42 am

      Why would you invest in something that takes ten years or more to pay for itself?

      And will everybody please note it’s not free money? The grants come from taxes which you will pay!

  9. Devoncamel permalink
    February 12, 2021 8:45 pm

    Gamecock, you’re right about governments being gifted in cocking things up. The climate crisis scam is politically motivated and heavily subsidised by taxpayer’s money. It’s so easy to be idealistic when you’re not risking your own hard-earned cash.

  10. February 12, 2021 8:45 pm

    The paradox is that if the consensus globul warming predictions made only a few years ago by “robust climate models” were in any way correct, then we would have very little need for heating. After all the “1998 hockey stick” showed how warm it was going to get. I was even told officially, by the Met Office back in 1998, that we would soon enjoy the climate of the South of France!

    The Green Home Grants gives grants for building alterations that climate change makes unnecessary.

  11. Stuart Brown permalink
    February 12, 2021 8:56 pm

    Paul, did you see Kathryn Porter’s posts on ‘Getting building energy performance right is essential for net zero’ http://watt-logic.com

    Having just read all three, I was struck by your comment that “Fitting other types of insulation, such as wall insulation, is expensive and offers little in the way of energy saving.” But most of the interface between the inside and the outside is the walls – though you may well be right about the expense. You’d be in good company, however, as she shows here:

    The biggest impact on reducing gas consumption when measured was the U value of the walls followed by the ventilation rate (draughtiness?). The experts rated those number 3 and 12 for impact. They reckoned glazing ratio the most important and it comes in at number 17 in reality.

    We really don’t seem to have a clue how to build houses in this country.

    • Stuart Brown permalink
      February 12, 2021 8:57 pm

      12 not 17 – gah

  12. Graeme No.3 permalink
    February 12, 2021 9:09 pm

    Something similar has happened in South Australia – “home of the blackout”.
    The State government launched a scheme Oct 2018 for home batteries and offered a 6 year interest free loan of $6000 for new installations. They expected 50,000 to take up the offer, but so far only 14,000 (estimate**) have taken up the offer, and the ‘subsidy’ has been halved.

    The object was to ‘save daytime solar’ and use it in the early evening peak (demand) hours when tariffs rise and the grid is under strain.
    It seems that those who installed solar PV when the feed-in tariff was set at 44¢ per kWh weren’t interested in spending (at least) $14,000 more but losing that tariff (and getting possibly 8¢ per kWh). Nor were they interested in spending more dollars to get ‘blackout protection’. Nor could you go ‘off-grid’.

    **The numbers are hard to find as there are several schemes operating e.g. one for fitting batteries and solar in (government owned) houses rented by welfare recipients (between 1100 or 3,000 at no cost to the occupants) which seem to have been included. How many have taken up the specific offer is unavailable but I did see a figure of 3,400). The State Opposition spokesman claimed 7,000 and demanded the Government raise the ‘subsidy’ because “people were demanding cheaper electricity”.

  13. Harry Passfield permalink
    February 12, 2021 10:01 pm

    I recall, back in the 70s, a letter in the Times (I think – it was my daily then) that told Benn, who was responsible, that it would take more energy to produce the insulation than it would save.

  14. Ian Miller permalink
    February 12, 2021 10:02 pm

    This Green, – “Climate Change/Save-the-Planet” Religion controlling of behavioural and thought processes. is simply the Trojan Horse successfully enabling international acceptance of Totalitarian Communism.
    Communists know full well how unpopular their real aim is, so through deception they hope that people unaware of who their enemy is, they will succumb at every attempt to resist them.
    Communists always trash otherwise successful economies. See Venezuela, Cuba, USSR Etc
    .

    • Gamecock permalink
      February 13, 2021 12:29 pm

      Correct. It is a universal unifying cause. The world is expected to give up their hopes and dreams to join the fight against climate change. Which, conveniently, is undefined.

  15. ianprsy permalink
    February 12, 2021 10:52 pm

    Short of buying a report from a qualified building surveyor, can anybody point me to guidance on what type of improvement will make what difference? I’m starting with a detached solid stone two-storey house, slate roof, currently rated at EPC grade E.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      February 13, 2021 9:37 am

      None, because this is all on the margins. It’s like smart meters, they only appear to be worthwhile if you aggregate small savings from 30 million of them. But most of us aren’t going to spend ages monitoring them to save a £1 here and there – not least because our time is worth more than £1.

      Similarly no one in their right mind is going to spend £5,000 to save £100/year. The life of that home might be 50 years so civil servants think people will do it but nobody else does.

      • ianprsy permalink
        February 13, 2021 2:40 pm

        Thanks, P. It will matter if the rule enforcing the minimum standard of C is implemented. I’m assuming the surveyors have a tick list or tables to pick from.

      • February 13, 2021 4:20 pm

        You can find the assessment criteria on this page: https://www.bregroup.com/sap/standard-assessment-procedure-sap-2012/

        Scroll down to RdSAP 2012 v9.94 (I didn’t link it because it’s a pdf and might embed).

        The document shows the recommended improvements on page 52. I think they’re ordered (right hand column) by effectiveness – but this must depend on what is already in place.

      • ianprsy permalink
        February 13, 2021 6:01 pm

        Thanks jit, I’ll have a look.

  16. martinbrumby permalink
    February 12, 2021 11:44 pm

    Jack Broughton
    “I wonder if the Government is aware….”
    Well, I don’t suppose even our Beloved Leaders imagine they get those nice brown envelopes because they are doing a great job.

  17. Phoenix44 permalink
    February 13, 2021 9:31 am

    So if we voted for it and we support it and want it, why are we not doing it?

    Surely not expressed versus revealed preferences again?

    Will politicians never learn this?

  18. Pat permalink
    February 13, 2021 10:03 am

    Disagree about cavity wall insulation. I’ve had it for decades and it’s certainly worth it. But not worth getting if you’ve got it already, obviously.

  19. Gamecock permalink
    February 13, 2021 12:25 pm

    To the extent that virtue signaling is part of the motivation of being green, spending money on wall insulation doesn’t bring any visible virtue returns.

    Or we have reached Peak Virtue.

  20. Ray Sanders permalink
    February 13, 2021 12:46 pm

    I have just gone onto the Green Homes Grant site to investigate for myself. The standout thing I noticed was how totally imaginary and completely incorrect the data that the government is using actually is.
    I completed the details showing that I had a gas fired condensing combi boiler (Government records already showed that when I put in my address details from the gas safe register) and one eligible recommendation that came up was for “Solar Thermal” described as ” Solar thermal panels provide hot water for your taps and showers when the sun shines” For this the estimated installation cost was £5,000 rather high but the staggeringly bizarre annual saving was given as between “£260 – £265” per annum.
    God only knows what planet these people live on to think that someone with a gas supply could get even remotely close to that figure. My gas tariff with Avro has a kWh price (incl VAT) of £0.02263 hence they seem to think I would use almost 11,500 kWh cost of gas per annum just for hot water! I only use 15,000kWh for space heating, cooking and hot water combined.
    Surely someone compiling these figures would at least have run them past a qualified person first. The specific heat of water is 4.2kJ/kg/ °C so with an incoming water temp of
    10°c, a ΔT of 50° and a 160litre tank the total heat energy required for a tank full of hot water is 9.4kWh. If we call that 10kWh for every day of the year we can only reach 3,650kWh per annum. Without a hot water storage requirement (as for a combi boiler) the actual use is in reality much lower at about 7kWh for a 3 person household.
    Surely the grossly inflated “saving” figure I was quoted is deliberately intended to deceive and thereby con people into thinking the investment in solar thermal is worthwhile when again, in reality, it would take decades to recoup the outlay.

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      February 13, 2021 1:11 pm

      Digging a bit deeper, I looked up the EPC online for my property, it only quotes an annual saving of £36 for solar thermal (2013 prices when EPC done) so the hugely inflated figure cannot come from that source.

      • I don't believe it! permalink
        February 13, 2021 1:25 pm

        £5,000 to save £36 (even allowing for 2013 prices) a year.
        But I suppose you will be saving the planet!

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      February 13, 2021 1:31 pm

      Also forgot to mention that the Green homes site gives an estimate of your monthly energy bills from the information it knows from the EPC and what you complete on the guidance form. The estimate it used for my property was £159.42 (£1913 per annum). In reality I am paying Avro £73 per month (£876 per annum) AND I am building up credit at that figure.
      Clearly the government is inflating figures to make “potential savings ” seem higher than they actually will be. That, I feel is, dishonesty.

    • Gamecock permalink
      February 13, 2021 6:02 pm

      “(Government records already showed that when I put in my address details from the gas safe register)”

      OMG! The government knows what kind of heater you have ?!?! That’s insane! It’s none of their ****ing business!

      • Ray Sanders permalink
        February 13, 2021 9:28 pm

        It’s sad but true! Not only does the gas safe register transfer details but also anything else that requires any form of regulatory control. So if your house has a change of wiring, they know about it. Amazing as it may seem they even know the exact volume of your house from details kept by the VOA (Valuation Office Agency) that sets your council tax band. Extend your home even under Permitted Development (so not requiring planning approval) and they know about it.
        Here is an example of the details for a postcode I picked a few miles from me
        https://publicaccess.dover.gov.uk/online-applications/simpleSearchResults.do?action=firstPage
        Change your windows and they know! In the case of my own home they actually knew the make and model of my boiler.

      • Ray Sanders permalink
        February 13, 2021 9:40 pm

        Actually looking at the example i gave you, it even shows when a property had its gas cooker changed. Bear in mind the link is only an outline and there are more details under the specific case reference number. Truly scary isn’t it?!

  21. I don't believe it! permalink
    February 13, 2021 1:20 pm

    If a house does not achieve a c rating you will not be able to let it on a new tenancy from 2025 or continue the tenancy from 2027/8.
    The idea of banning sales of properties that don’t achieve the C rating is also being considered.
    What price freedom?

  22. Cheshire Red permalink
    February 15, 2021 7:53 pm

    I made an enquiry today to see how the offer stacks up. The reason so few have taken it up isn’t because nobody is interested in Green crap – although that itself is true.

    Almost everyone is interested in £10k of free stuff, but it can’t be accessed! Government have set the rules so that they give the offer with one hand before immediately taking it away with the other.

    T&C’s *really are* all-but impossible. They have ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ energy saving improvements, like loft insulation and double glazing. The catch is you have to have BOTH a primary and a secondary system fitted under this scheme. If you already have all the primary improvements (eg loft insulation) you CANNOT qualify for any ‘secondary’ improvements, (eg double glazing) which handily disqualifies almost everyone from claiming!

  23. Andrea Schuurman permalink
    February 20, 2021 1:11 am

    Not a big uptake? Well, I have been travelling through this debacle for nearly 5 months, It always to busy to get to a manager, They say the delay is because so many applications flooded in. Now until last week, they were still asking for questions on a quote that had been gone over. I did get the manager of the complaints to get in touch and she promised to sort this out. The next day the room in a roof voucher arrived and cavity wall voucher replacement doors is next and she is working on it. But how many people are stuck in this scheme I was eligible for 10,000 so was a really good thing for me, but the stress and the hoops they make you jump through, then hear nothing for weeks on end. Of course, will get that loft fully done now, but these contractors are not even getting paid, my company knows the Hassell i have had and are doing the work next week but I am the last voucher they will work on because they have not been paid on work already done months ago. So get your voucher and you might find the company can not afford to do the work.
    I have contacted my MP and she is writing to a government minister with my story. I could write a book on what happened to me.
    I would never apply for a government grant again though Because the stress and upset for me and I am not well has been terrible. These firms running it all I say shame on them.

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