Homeowners & Landlords – Green Homes Grant

The Government funded ‘Green Homes Grant scheme‘ is an opportunity for homeowners and landlords in England to upgrade their homes with energy saving improvements. The grant will cover up to two thirds of the cost for energy efficient measures up to £5000, and for low income households, the vouchers will cover up to £10,000.

At the Property Care Association (PCA), we are pleased to see this level of investment that is intended help improve the nation’s housing stock reduce energy bills.

To ensure the Green Homes Grant only works to make homes better we have created some guidance complementary to the promotion of the scheme but aimed at ensuring homeowners know something about what they are buying before insulation works inadvertently create problems. Let’s do this RIGHT this time round!

What can I use the vouchers for?

There are two categories of energy saving installations which are covered by the grant. You can read about them in more detail on our ‘what is the green home grant’ page, but essentially:

  • The first and primary category relates to retrofit insulation (such as wall & roof insulation) and energy efficient heating solutions
  • The secondary category deals with supplementary energy efficient solutions such as draught proofing

In addition to the above…

To facilitate these installations, the Government has also said that additional services will be covered by the grant. This includes the cost of any necessary dampness related inspections prior to insulation being installed, and any essential necessary structural repairs and inspections.

What is it and how to apply? - Green Homes Grant HomeownersAny new insulation must be applied to buildings that are otherwise free of defects. In an acknowledgement of this principle, the Government have also said that some additional services that ensure the building is fit to insulate, will be funded by the grant. Services funded by the voucher will include the cost of any inspections and essential repair work relating to dampness and structural defects. Essential work that must be carried out prior to the delivery of any insulation.

To apply, you simply require a quote from a ‘TrustMark Accredited Surveyor’ which you then submit to the Simple Energy Advice website. Your grant will be sent to you once your application has been granted. To find out more, click on the button below

How I can apply >>

Why is insulation sometimes a bad thing for buildings?

Insulation can be a fantastic energy saving measure to effectively retain the heat in your home, but is it right for your home and have you ensured you have conducted the appropriate inspections and checks?

As supporters of the scheme, we want to see homeowners have good experiences that help improve their homes, and not have to suffer the consequences of unsuitable and inappropriate retrofit solutions installed by inexperienced firms.

Without the proper checks and improper installation, insulation can upset the moisture/water balance within your home. This means that all the moisture and humid air that would previously have flowed out of the property will be trapped inside due to a lack of ventilation. Over time this can result in rot, mould, failing wall finishes and the deterioration of the buildings’ fabric. Click on the button to find out more.

When things go wrong >>

What checks should I do before saying YES?

We mentioned proceeding with caution earlier and yes, whilst the Green Homes Grant is a welcome initiative to save energy and some cash in homeowners’ pockets, there is a responsibility to understand that retrofit insulation can fundamentally affect the way the building copes with moisture and dampness.

Below is a list of precautionary checks you can take to identify if you will actually benefit from any retrofit action, or if you are inviting trouble into your property. 

Cavity Wall Insulation Checks

  • Do you actually have cavity walls?
  • Are the walls (outside and inside leaf) structurally sound and free from cracks
    Pointing, rendering brickwork is in good condition
  • Are gutterings and rainwater pipes in good condition and no leaks
  • Is the cavity at least 50mm wide and free of obstructions and debris
  • Read more on cavity wall insulation problems

Solid Wall Insulation Checks

  • Check for evidence of dampness staining or mould
  • Look for cracking or structural movement inside or out
  • How is the room ventilation?
  • Look at your pointing, drains, render coats, rainwater pipes.
  • Check out the condition of windows and external joinery

Checking for Underfloor Insulation

  • Check for evidence of dampness or standing water in the void
  • Signs of rot are a red flag
  • Is there any evidence of Woodworm or insect attack
  • Is the subfloor ventilation adequate
  • TIP: You can lift the floorboards if you can’t fit in the crawlspace to check

Checks for Solar Thermal

  • Can your roof support it?
  • Is your building structurally sound?
  • You may need planning permission if you live in a conservation area
  • Do you have enough roof space for the panels?

Need to Upgrade Windows?

  • Is there water damage on timber lintels?
  • Are there any signs of rot on wooden frames?
  • Condensation could be a sign of larger damp problem

Pre-installation & condition surveys

If you have performed some of the suggested checks above and feel you may have a cause for concern or would just like to seek a professional opinion, then you can always contact one of our independent, Government-backed and TrustMark accredited PCA members who would be happy to conduct the necessary checks for you.  Simply run a search using the member search function below and find a PCA member local to you!

Related info about the Green Homes Grant

As the Trade Association for the preservation industry, the PCA offer a variety of courses to help you with your professional development. Take a look at some of the options below.

Green Home Grant Hub What Could Go Wrong? PCA Members – Scheme Information

 

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