Environment groups have described £3bn of UK government grants to improve the energy efficiency of homes and public sector buildings as an “important start” but warned they fell short of the “green recovery” promised by ministers to lead Britain out of the coronavirus crisis. Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, on Wednesday confirmed that homeowners would from September be able to apply for vouchers to cover at least two-thirds of the costs of improving their properties with measures such as better insulation, up to a limit of £5,000. For low income households, the amount could stretch to the entire cost, up to a maximum of £10,000, as part of a £2bn “green homes grant”. A further £1bn would be made available to improve the energy efficiency of public sector buildings, Mr Sunak told the House of Commons on Wednesday. The chancellor claimed the measures would support 140,000 green jobs, make 650,000 homes more energy efficient and could help slash carbon dioxide emissions by more than half a megatonne a year, which would be equivalent to taking 270,000 cars off the road. Mike Childs, head of policy at Friends of the Earth, called the green homes grant, which applies to the whole of the UK, a good “stepping stone” but added it was “not yet a green recovery”.
FT 8th July 2020 read more »
Hundreds of thousands of homeowners and landlords will receive vouchers of up to £5,000 to insulate their homes under government plans for a “green recovery”. The £2 billion green homes grant will cover up to two thirds of the cost of upgrades such as installing double glazing and loft or wall insulation. The poorest households will get up to £10,000 for the full cost of the work. The scheme goes significantly further than the Tory manifesto, which pledged about £300 million annually for five to ten years on upgrades helping only poorer households. Applications will open from September to March. The Treasury said about half of the fund would go to households with the lowest incomes, with £10,000 grants saving them up to £600 a year each on fuel bills. Yet support for social homes is limited to a £50 million project to demonstrate technology such as heat pumps in the sector. That “is just a seventh of what the Conservatives have said they would be spending” on upgrading social homes, Anneliese Dodds, the shadow chancellor, said.
Times 9th July 2020 read more »