REA urges UK Government to reverse decision on Green Homes Grant

The Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA) has urged the UK Government to reconsider clawing back £1 billion (€1.1 billion) from the Green Homes Grant.

Less than 5% of the original budget has been spent so far, with the government saying that unspent money would not be carried over into the next financial year. However, the REA has said that such a move would impact businesses and consumers in the short-term, as well as undermining confidence in future initiatives.

The association believes long-term strategies around heat decarbonisation are also ‘imperative’, otherwise a policy gap will quickly emerge with the non-domestic RHI coming to an end. This would put the government’s net-zero ambitions in ‘serious jeopardy’, according to the REA.

Dr Nina Skorupska CBE, chief executive of the REA, said: “The sudden removal of funding for the Green Homes Grant would not only severely impact consumers and businesses in the short-term, but it would also damage confidence in future announcements.

“The problem with the scheme hasn’t been a lack of demand, but a combination of COVID-19 and an administrative system which has been beset with problems.

“Far from clawing this money back, the government should be looking to carry over this commitment into the next financial year, fix the issues around delivery, and expand the scheme to include energy storage and a broader range of on-site renewables.

“The government needs to urgently make clear its intentions around heat decarbonisation – aside from domestic installations, come the end of March, there will be a huge policy gap opening up as the non-domestic RHI comes to an end with no comparative policy in place to help businesses to decarbonise their heat.”

Skorupska added that the government needs a “significant step change” if it is to reach the level of installations required to meet its decarbonisation targets and net-zero ambitions.

“They are due to publish their Heat and Buildings Strategy this year,” she said, “this must include long-term, stable, and transparent policy that will see renewable heat systems installed and a clear trajectory for delivering decarbonisation targets.”

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