The government has scrapped its flagship Green Homes Grant scheme six months after it launched, with some funding being re-routed to local authorities to cut emissions in lower income households.
On 27 March, the government announced that the struggling Green Homes Grant - the only major green initiative in the government’s pandemic recovery stimulus programme - would close to new applications at the end of the month.
The scheme, which offered homeowners grants of up to £5,000 or £10,000 towards the cost of a range of energy efficiency measures including insulation and low carbon heating, had been fraught with difficulties since its launch in September 2020.
It was supposed to fund improvements in over 600,000 homes, backed by a £1.5 billion funding pot, but over £1 billion of the budget has gone unspent. MPs had recently described the scheme as “disastrous”.
Local authority delivery to continue
A separate £500 million Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery scheme designated specifically for local authorities to fund improvements in low income households will continue.
Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) has been awarded £10.3 million through the scheme, which will fund improvements in over 1,300 homes in the city region, including the creation of the country’s first ‘decarbonised neighbourhoods’. The majority of these homes will be in the social housing sector, with energy provider E.ON leading the programme.
An extra £300 million funding for local authorities will now be made available over 2021-22, following the scrapping of the main Green Homes Grant.
Funding cut but policy remains
According to the government, this brings total expenditure on building energy efficiency and low carbon heating to over £1.3 billion for 2021-22, which will be delivered by local authorities and social housing providers to improve homes and public estate.
However, experts have pointed out that this is an overall reduction on the £2.5 billion the government had originally announced last year.
Nevertheless, the government said it remains committed to its manifesto commitment to deliver over £9 billion over the course of this Parliament to increase the energy efficiency of homes, schools and hospitals.
Posted under General Interest and Environmental Regulations and Legislation on 31 March 2021