The scheme was announced in Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s summer statement in July, as part of a £3 billion jobs package to boost the Covid-ravaged economy.
The grants, worth £2 billion in total, will be available for home improvements including installing insulation, low-carbon heating, double glazing and replacing old boilers.
Up to £1billion will be spent on making public buildings, including schools and hospitals, more environmentally friendly. The sum of £50 million is earmarked for retro-fitting social housing with energy-saving measures.
Homeowners will receive a voucher from the Government that covers two thirds of the cost of allowable improvements, up to a maximum voucher value of £5,000.
This means that for an improvement costing £4,000 a homeowner would pay £1,320, while the Government would contribute the remaining £2,680.
Low-income households receiving specified benefits can get a voucher for up to £10,000 to cover the entire cost of the improvements.
The grant must be used to install one of two “primary measures”, either insulation or low-carbon heating, carried out after the voucher is issued. It cannot be used to replace existing insulation or low-carbon heating, although it can be used to add to them.
Provided either insulation or low-carbon heating has been installed, the voucher can also be used to cover a range of “secondary measures”.
These include draught proofing, replacing single glazing with double or triple glazing, external energy-efficient doors, heating controls and hot water tank thermostats and insulation. You cannot spend more on these secondary measures than on the primary measures.
The deadline for redeeming the voucher and ensuring improvements are completed is March 31, 2021.
Homeowners can get advice on how to make their home more energy efficient from Simple Energy Advice, which will tell them which areas of their property might be eligible for funding.
A list of government-accredited builders and tradespeople will be available to choose from. Once the work is agreed the Government will hand out vouchers from today.
The Treasury claims better insulation could save households as much as £600 a year on energy bills — and says the scheme could support more than 100,000 jobs.
The funding also aims to help Britain meet its legally binding target to cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.