The Green Homes Grant isn't the only government funding for eco home improvements you could take advantage of in 2021...
Image: Urban Front
With the introduction of the Green Homes Grant this year, many homeowners, for the first time, have been looking into the grants, schemes and eco-funding available for their home.
However, according to the research by Viessmann, which surveyed 1,000 adults in the UK, only 6.9% of respondents either currently use, have used, or plan to use any form of these government-backed schemes, meaning thousands of households could be missing out on saving money and incentives to make their homes more environmentally-friendly.
Thanks to an extension to the Green Homes Grant until March 2022, these three eco grants and schemes will all be available to apply for next year.
Green Homes Grant
The government’s Green Homes Grant is perhaps the best known home improvement grant at the moment, and one that can be fully explored on the Green Homes Grant Hub on the Grand Designs magazine website.
Launching in July 2020, the scheme allows homeowners to apply for a voucher that can be used towards the cost of certain energy-saving home improvements. For most households, the scheme entitles you to a voucher of up to £5,000, which will cover two-thirds of the cost of the work at a maximum, but those receiving certain state benefits could receive vouchers for the total cost of works completed up to £10,000.
The works, which can be anything from loft insulation to new energy efficient doors, must be completed by a tradesperson registered with TrustMark or Microgeneration Certification Scheme.
How to apply
Homeowners in England can now access advice on improving their home’s energy efficiency, alongside which improvements will be available to them via the grant, from the Simple Energy Advice service
This service will then offer a list of approved businesses who can carry out the work from their local area. You'll need to contact installers to get quotes for the improvements that you have selected. You'll need to keep a record of these quotes, as these will need to submitted as part of the application process.
The vouchers for the Green Homes Grant can be applied for through the Government's Green Homes Grant site. The new deadline for the scheme is March 2022, and all vouchers must be issued and all work completed before this deadline.
Read more: The Green Homes Grant: how does it work?
The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)
While other schemes offset the installation costs of eco-friendly measures, the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme allows you to get paid for having already switched to renewable heating technology. This includes home energy sources such as solar thermal panels, biomass boilers and heat pumps.
Available for both businesses and homeowners, the RHI sees those eligible receive quarterly payments for up to seven years for homes and 20 years for businesses. The size of the payment is determined by how much heat you have generated sustainably. Installation costs for these technologies can be high, but with lower energy bills and payments from the RHI, this can be offset over time,
It is worth noting for measures covered by both the Renewable Heat Incentive and the Green Homes Grant, any funding received for the Green Homes Grant will be deducted from initial payments from the RHI.
How to apply
To find out whether you're eligible and to apply for the incentive, head to the government's Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive page. The deadline for domestic RHI is March 2022.
The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme
Launched back in 2013, The Energy Company Obligation scheme is designed to make energy suppliers in the UK partly responsible for making sure households are energy efficient. This means that your energy supplier could pay for measures such as wall insulation and even replacing your boiler.
The current scheme, called ECO3, runs until March 2022 and is focused on households with lower income or who are thought to be living in fuel poverty or vulnerable situations. It’s thought that there are around 6.5million households currently eligible for the scheme.
Any energy supplier with more than 150,000 customers automatically fall under the scheme, so even if you aren’t with one of the big six providers you could still be eligible.
How to apply
You'll need to contact your energy provider directly to apply for this scheme, however, you can find a list of all those who qualify for ECO on the ofgem website.
Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme
As part of the OLEV Grant, The Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) will provide up to £350 towards the cost and installation of a home charging point for an electric vehicle for those installed after April 12 2020. This applies to electric cars, vans and motorcycles.
This is a reduction on the rate previously set for the EVHS, however, the government estimates that twice as many people will be able to make use of the scheme, increasing the uptake on electric vehicles.
How to apply
To qualify, you must have bought an eligible electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle, or leased one for at least six months. You must have off-street parking and you must install an OLE approved chargepoint. The scheme is currently set to finish in April 2021.
Want to learn more about the energy-saving measures available through the Green Homes Grant and get the latest news on the scheme as it happens? Sign up to the Grand Designs newsletter to receive all this and more, direct to your inbox.