Double Glazing Grants And The Green Homes Grant
Following a couple of months of hype, anticipation and excitement withing the double glazing industry in England, details of the Governments eagerly anticipated new Green Homes Grant were unveiled in August 2020
The anouncement was published via the Government website on 4th August. The full details of this anouncement can be accessed here >>>.
We have analysed the detail to see what this could mean for double glazing grants in the UK. It’s not as good as many were hoping though!
Update March 2021
There’s been much controversy over the Green Homes Grant of late and rumours that it will be pulled completely. The Government has now confirmed that it will close with effect from 31st March 2021 – a year ahead of schedule. You can read the details in our feature Double Glazing Grants – The Green Homes Grant Axed.
Green Homes Grant In A Nutshell
The idea behind the scheme is two-fold:
- To help kick-start the economy and support re-growth following the economic challenges brought on by Covid-19.
- To support energy efficiency improvement targets – especially towards the net-zero targets.
On the face of it it appears incredibly generous. Households in England are able to access up to £10,000 towards the cost of various energy efficiency home improvement initiatives including various types on insulation, draft proofing (including double glazing) and heat pumps in order to improve thermal efficiency and reduce energy waste. However – there does seem to be a lot of caveats:
Accreditation For Tradespeople
Firstly there is a focus on quality of installation. This is no bad thing at all and aims at eliminating the cowboys by stopping them cashing in on the opportunity.
Tradespeople MUST be registered for either Trustmark or Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) accreditation in order to participate in the Green Homes Grant scheme. This is designed to give the homeowner peace of mind that any improvement measures are being installed correctly and are fully guaranteed. You can still chose your own tradesperson but they must be accredited to carry out the work. You cannot claim for doing the work yourself or for employing anyone not accredited.
What Measures Are Covered
Here’s where it’s not quite as straight forward. The Government have divided the grants into two categories:
The Green Homes Grant will provide access for homeowners and landlords to apply for vouchers to install one or more of the following primary measures:
- Insulation, including solid wall, under-floor, cavity wall or roof insulation.
- Low carbon heating systems such as air source or ground source heat pumps.
- Solar thermal systems which basically means solar panels.
In addition to the above homeowners and landlords can also apply for vouchers towards the cost of one or more of the following secondary measures:
- Double glazing, triple glazing or secondary glazing.
- An upgrade to energy efficient doors.
- Thermostats and heating controls for hot water and appliance tanks.
Double Glazing Grants – What This Means
The good news is that double glazing grants ARE included within the scheme. The not so good news is that it’s not quite that straightforward.
Double glazing grants are classed as a secondary measure. This means that in order to be eligible at least one primary measure needs to be installed. This means you are going to have to be eligible for insulation improvements, fit a new low carbon heating system or install solar panels before you can apply for a double glazing grant as a secondary measure.
I can read your mind … “no problem, I’ll throw in some loft insulation as a primary measure and then get new windows!” Sorry but this potential loophole has not been opened as the deal stipulates that you are only to claim for secondary measures up to the same value of the primary measure (s).
This therefore means that if you install cavity wall and roof insulation as primary measures at a total cost of say £1200 then you will only be able to claim up to £1200 toward the total cost of secondary measures.
I Can Still Get A Double Glazing Grant Though?
The simple answer is both yes and no!
Yes, you can get a grant of up to the value of the qualifying primary measures being undertaken but this will only cover the cost of upgrading from single glazing to double glazing, triple glazing or secondary glazing if your home is subject to restrictions. It will not cover the cost of replacing existing double glazed windows.
This means that if you simply want to get nice, new, modern double glazing to replace old or tired looking double glazing you’re not going to be eligible for a grant as either a primary or a secondary measure.
Double Glazing Green Homes Grant – How To Apply
The application process opened in October 2020. To find out more and to check eligibility for a double glazing green homes grant or any other enery efficiency grant you need to visit the Government endorsed Simple Energy Advice website. Here you’ll be guided through a series of questions about you and your property which will assess your eligibility and tell you what you can apply for. If you already have an EPC on your property it will speed up the process. If you don’t have this it’s not a problem though, you’ll just have to answer more questions.
Once you’ve answered the short questionaire to the best of your ability the instant result will catagorise all the measure you can make in order to make your home more energy efficient. It will also highlight the approximate level of investment you’ll need to make and, most importantly, if the measure is eligible for a Green Homes Grant. You will then be able to apply for the voucher and obtain quotes from accredited tradespeople.
Don’t forget though, double glazing grants are classed as a secondary measure and only if upgrading from single glazing. You’ll therefore need to apply for a primary measure before you can apply for a secondary improvement.
Do The Vouchers Cover The Full Cost
Nothing is ever straightforward is it? With that in mind the answer again is yes … and no!
If you fall into the low income owner occupiers category and you are in receipt of income-based or disability benefits then the answer is yes. You could be eligible for a 100% grant up to a maximum government contribution of £10,000.
For the majority however the answer is no. You’re expected to make a contribution of approximately one third of the overall cost. The Government give an example:
“a homeowner of a semi-detached or end-terrace installed cavity wall and floor insulation, costing around £4,000, the homeowner would pay just £1,320 – with the government paying £2,680. Doing so could save the owner over £200 annually on their bills and reduce their carbon footprint by cutting 700 kg of CO2 a year from their home alone.”
Green Homes Grant – Deadline
Initially this was designed as a short term initiative – applications from October 2020 and all installation to be completed by April 2021. Changes in Covid-19 situation, delays to the application and voucher distribution process along with a shortage of Trustmark contractors have resulted in an extension … and a decent one too! The deadline to completion of measures is now set at 31st March 2022 so there’s plenty of time to take advantage of this grant although bear in mind what we stated earlier – funding has been reduced so we suggest that you get your application in sooner rather than later to ensure you get your voucher.
Double Glazing Grants – What’s Next For 2022?
The debate has started! It’s way too early to predict what may or may not be put in place but the Government seems to be favouring financial support towards insulation and eco measures. The double glazing industry as a whole has begun lobbying to try to ensure that whatever form any support takes includes double glazing. Watch this space …
Double Glazing Grants – Conclusion
So, there you have a condensed version of the Green Homes Grant.
Double glazing grants ARE available but only if you’re upgrading from single glazing and only when installed as a secondary measure alongside a primary measure and only up to the value of the primary measure.
Those on low income or in receipt of means related or disability benefits may be eligible for a 100% double glazing grant. For the rest a contribution of around a third of the total cost will be required.
Many of you will have been holding off getting new windows until the details of the Green Homes Grant were unveiled. Now that the details are known we suggest that you talk to accredited double glazing companies, get your quote and examine the various options for a grant alongside any additional incentives they may provide.
Double Glazing Grants – UPDATE
As mentioned above, the Green Homes Grant scheme has now been axed and no applications will be accepted after 31st March 2021. As for what comes next … watch this space!