Simon Ayers, CEO of TrustMark, says ‘the Green Homes Grant Voucher Scheme is a turning point in our recovery and future – make sure you’re a part of it.’ Below, he outlines the impact it can have and how installers can ensure they’re ready to make the most of the opportunities available.
The Green Homes Grant Voucher Scheme (GHGVS) is a turning point in our recovery and an important commitment from the government to decarbonise properties and keep us on track to reach net-zero by 2050.
The scheme will enable householders to obtain funding for up to two-thirds (up to £5000) of the cost of the energy efficiency measures identified, while households on lower incomes and receiving certain benefits could be entitled all the cost (up to £10,000). By the end of September, homeowners across the country will be able to start applying for the funding and it is possible that over 600,000 homes could benefit from the scheme. A large proportion of the work is likely to be related to the construction industry and this sector needs to be ready to meet this demand.
Fabric first to address overall efficiency
Work funded through the GHGVS, is a vital component of the Whole House Retrofit approach to make homes greener. At TrustMark, we firmly believe it is important that a property is looked at holistically and look at the ‘fabric first’ so we can address the overall efficiency of the building, and improve insulation, airtightness, and ventilation. Only through a whole house approach, can a property owner determine what measures are needed for optimising home energy efficiency and ensuring the best value for money.
Our new and existing housing stock account for 18% of CO2 emissions and 15% of total greenhouse gas emissions. At the end of 2019, 70% of homes with a cavity wall had cavity wall insulation (14.1 million properties), 66% of homes with a loft had loft insulation (16.4 million properties) and 9% of homes with solid walls had solid wall insulation (764,000 properties). Good insulation, properly installed, creates an insulated envelope, helping to keep temperatures stable, reducing the amount of heat lost through the walls, floors and roofs. Overall, it is one of the most cost-effective solutions when maximising the energy efficiency of a property and improving the overall performance.
Installers: rise to the challenge
There is no doubt that this is a pivotal moment. Decarbonising our heating supply and the opportunity ahead for the construction sector is an enormous task. Installers who take the opportunity to be more energy efficient and rise to the challenge will benefit from a share in the marketplace, which will be exponential over the next 30 years. By improving energy efficiency and moving to cleaner ways to heat our homes, we can reduce carbon emissions and keep down household energy costs now and in the future.
TrustMark is proud to be working with the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and industry sectors to support the delivery of the GHGVS. To ensure the work carried out under the scheme is of high quality that consumers can trust, all businesses need to be certified to install energy efficiency or low carbon heat measures to the relevant standards and be registered with TrustMark. By becoming TrustMark registered, businesses will be able to benefit from the increase in demand that the GHGVS is likely to have, as well as having access to finance options for customers and having the opportunity to become Trading Standards Approved.
The GHGVS will boost the UK’s economic recovery, creating new jobs, supporting existing jobs and investment from government supported by private investment. The time for innovation and development is now. Through the GHGVS we can collectively play a vital role in the delivery of lower carbon properties, with reduced energy costs and better living conditions for the occupiers, whilst helping reach the goal of net-zero carbon by 2050. We need to act now to reach this goal and the current rate of energy improvements to our homes needs to drastically improve to allow us to hit this target.
How to get involved
We would encourage businesses to register with TrustMark so they can deliver the GHGVS. In order to install energy efficiency measures under the GHGVS, a business must also be Publicly Available Specification (PAS) standards 2030: 2017 or 2030: 2019 certified, by a certification body that has been accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). More information is available on the UKAS website. To install low carbon heating measures, such as heat pumps, you must be certified with the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS).
TrustMark is working closely with BEIS and other government departments to ensure the GHGVS delivers it goal to build back greener, support jobs, reduce energy bills and cut carbon emissions. More information on the GHGVS can be found on GOV.UK.