The government’s plan to insulate England’s draughty homes is faltering because builders and installers are failing to sign up, leaving thousands of households unable to access the £3bn green home grants. Offering up to £5,000 – or £10,000 for those on low incomes – for energy efficiency measures such as insulation and heat pumps, the scheme is intended to help people save on gas and electricity bills and cut carbon emissions, as well as creating thousands of green jobs. It was unveiled in July as part of an economic rescue package for the coronavirus pandemic. According to government data, only 1,174 installers have signed up to the scheme, which started on 30 September, while more than 36,000 householders have applied for the grants, which will be available from March. Green campaigners are growing increasingly concerned about the scheme, which is so far the UK’s only policy measure aimed at a green recovery, despite Boris Johnson’s pledge to “build back better”. The prime minister is expected to unveil a 10-point plan for reaching net zero emissions within the next fortnight, but it is expected to miss out many of the potential “shovel-ready” green projects economists have said would create jobs and shift the UK to a low-carbon economy. Households wanting to take advantage of the green home grant must find an accredited installer to do the work, but many are reluctant to invest the time and money needed to gain accreditation. The short duration of the scheme means they fear being left in the lurch when it closes. The Federation of Master Builders (FMB), which represents many of small building firms expected to deliver the energy efficiency improvements, said its members were put off by the complexity of the accreditation process.
Guardian 14th Nov 2020 read more »