Millions of pounds to be cut from UK Government’s Green Homes Grant

Millions of pounds will be withdrawn from the UK Government’s Green Homes Grant, according to an MP.

Business Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan revealed the £2 billion (€2.29 billion) available for the grant would not be rolled over into the next financial year from March.

Quoted in The Mirror, the MP said: “The original funding for the green homes grant voucher scheme was announced as a short-term stimulus, for use in the 2020-21 financial year only.”

The newspaper said Trevelyan indicated that a much smaller budget of £320 million (€366 million) would be available from March, effectively withdrawing hundreds of millions of pounds from the scheme.

The majority of the Green Homes Grant remains unspent due to government delays in paying households and installers. With the budget set to be cut, many households will never receive the £5,000 (€5,700) vouchers.

John Alker, director of policy and places at the UK Green Building Council, said: “We are extremely disappointed to read reports today that any unspent funding of the first tranche of the Green Homes Grant programme will not be rolled over to the extended scheme in 2021-22.

“The government was very clear that the £320 million (€366 million) announced in last November’s Spending Review was additional to the originally allocated £2 billion (€2.29 billion). The problems with the scheme have not been about consumer appetite, but with the scheme’s administration, with householders having to wait months in some cases and installers having to wait similar amounts of time to get paid for works done.

“Stop-start policy of this kind is extremely counter-productive for businesses looking to invest in delivering a green recovery, and it is disappointing to see that lessons that should have been learned from the fate of previous schemes appear to have been missed.”

Alker said that tackling the retrofit challenge will be “essential” if the UK is to meet its zero-carbon targets, and that central government policy in this area is “long overdue.”

He said: “If the government is to get progress in this area back on track, then it must look to adopt a national retrofit strategy and overhaul the Green Homes Grant so that it can ensure a long-term future for the retrofit industry and deliver for consumers,”

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