This article has been updated in June 2021. Well … what a year 2020 was for us all and who could have seen THAT coming! And what a start to 2021 with a third UK lockdown being enforced. At last things are improving though and I feel it’s time to draw a line under it and look at the outlook for UK double glazing grants for the remainder of 2021.
We’re not out of the Covid-19 woods yet but, with the vaccine being rolled out so rapidly, one would like to assume that we’re starting getting back to a degree of permanent normality in H2 2021. And that means there’s likely to be a very high focus on economic recovery. In turn this means we may see a variety of measures and incentives introduced to kick-start to economy.
Let’s not forget Brexit too – that’s out of the way now and we all know where we stand!
Will this mean that a new dawn of double glazing grants 2021 are a real possibility … don’t hold your breath!
We said that double glazing grants were available as a secondary measure however, there were caveats which meant that it was never going to be good for many of us:
So that’s what you had to consider – if you currently had single glazing or if you have solid doors from pre 2002 then your luck’s in!
As with many of these initiatives there were teething problems. There was a delay in getting the vouchers out to people and there was also a problem with a low number of Trustmark contractors in relation to the sheer volume of enquiries coming in. Initially this worked in our favour because the scheme, which was designed as just a short term initiative, wasn extended. Initially measures had to be installed by April 2021, the extension meant that it was going to go right through to 31st March 2022.
Plenty of time to check this out and for applications then! Our initial recommendation was that if you had single glazing or pre 2002 solid doors to getan application in as there’s double glazing grants to be had!
To get started eligibility was checked at: https://www.gov.uk/
Then applications were made at: https://www.simpleenergyadvice.org.uk/
Rumoursbegan circulating in March 2021 that the Green Homes Grant was to be pulled completely. We were initially able to confirm that it WILL continue until the end of March 2022 as planned. However, funding was to be significantly reduced. Originally the Government set aside £2 billion which, it was assumed, could be taken at any time before the end of the scheme. Changes to the funding mean that the £2 billion is to be taken in the 2020/21 tax year and any money not taken won’t be carried over into 2021/22. That said, there was still money set aside for the 2021/22 tax year though, £320 million to be precise. It was still good but significantly less than we were expecting. For that reason we suggested you get your applications in sooner rather than later to ensure you secure your voucher.
Then out of the blue came a complete about turn! In spite of initial Government assurances a last minute u-turn meant that the Green Homes Grant scheme was axed with (virtually) immediate effect from April 2021. Read our feature entitled Double Glazing Grants 0 The Green Homes Grant Axed for full information.
Let’s face it, unless you were looking to upgrade from single glazing the Green Homes Grant Scheme was never going to provide any form of double glazing grants in the UK. For that reason the impact was pretty insignificant. We have to sympathise with those organisations who installed primary measures though – especially those who invested heavily in Trustmark Accreditation and in strengthening their business to support the scheme as they’ve been left high and dry … again!
The building industry as a whole has gone ballistic. It seems like the whole country is wanting to get those projects started now that we can again. Major new build, social refurbishment along with home improvements and DIY … it’s all happening at once!
As a result of demand and the impact of the pandemic certain materials are in short supply – particularly timber, steel, cement, paint and chipboard at the moment. Certain raw materials are in short supply also which means that prices have risen significantly. Add this to the fact that most reputable builders have full order books and enough work to see them through the next six months or so and you’ll begin to understand that if you’re thinking about double glazing it’s still worth getting the quotes but you may want to consider delaying until the supply chain calms down later this year.
And let’s no forget, it’s a sellers market right now and there’s nothing in the current pipeline in respect of double glazing grants either. That may or may not change but we understand the Government to be examining various initiative to support the UK construction market and it’s carbon emissions target to become net zero by 2050. Watch this space
All that said, there are still some initiatives that may help with the cost of double glazing in 2021. Read on to find out what these are.
ECO3 is the third phase of the governments Energy Company Obligation policy which will run until March 2022. The purpose is to deliver energy efficiency and heating improvement measures to homes across Great Britain. The main focus is on property owners on low income, who are vulnerable and those in fuel poverty so it’s not going to be for the majority.
Energy Company Obligation (ECO3) consultation sets out the policy of the scheme that will run from Autumn 2018 until March 2022. The scheme delivers energy efficiency and heating measures to homes in Great Britain.
If you think you may be eligible you can check it out at https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/
The picture remains different north of the border with the Greener Scotland initiative run by the Scottish Government continuing. There are 3 main options:
We’re expecting more initiatives to follow but, at the moment in Northern Ireland homeowners can get repair and improvement grants from the Housing Executive, but only in certain circumstances. The Disabled Facilities Grant scheme and Mandatory Repair Grants scheme continue as per last year. They are not however linked to home energy efficiency initiatives. Find Out More >>>.
When you’re looking for double glazing grants or any other form of energy saving subsidy a good starting point is the Housing Executive NI Energy Advice Line. It’s specifically established to provide: “independent and impartial energy advice to domestic householders in Northern Ireland plus referrals to energy grants and other sources of help in the region.”
There’s a specific section on energy efficient grants ( Click Here ) which will be worth keeping an eye on as any grants that come available should be detailed here.
Again, we can report little change in Wales with the continuation of the Welsh Government’s Warm Home Program.
Under this initiative are two seperate programs:
NEST is an initiative which is aimed at solid wall or hard to treat properties which are privately owned. At least one resident has to be in receipt of a means tested benefit. Under the improvement measures there is no mention of double glazing grants but it may be worth a discussion or finding out more. Click Here >>>.
The alternative ARBED scheme also continues. This scheme tackles a number of refurbishment improvements to properties. Again though, there’s no specific mention of double glazing grants but it does refer to draft proofing measures. Find out more about ARBED HERE >>>.
The UK double glazing industry is lobbying the Government hard. Like most, this industry has been hit hard and would benefit from support in getting it back on its feet again. The Green Homes Grant helps but not enough for the general double glazing market.
Interest rates remain low and are likely to do so for some time however. This means that, double glazing grant or no double glazing grant, there could be some amazing deals for homeowners – especially when the current pent up high demand dies down. We’re seeing low prices, price matches, interest free credit over several years, trade in recycle deals on existing double glazing etc – we don’t see this changing in 2021 so it could be a great year to replace or upgrade existing double glazing too.