Green Homes Grant offers “limited opportunity” for installers, says APHC

John Thompson is the CEO of APHC

A new Green Homes Grant Scheme offers little to most heating and plumbing engineers, according to a leading trade association.

John Thompson, CEO at the APHC, said: “I am disappointed that yet again the government has failed to listen to our industry and have created another ill-fated scheme. Firstly, the government appears to have made a huge oversight in not including high efficiency condensing boilers in the overall scheme as there was much here to assist with stimulating growth and more sustainable employment.

“Secondly, the accreditation standards are far too complex and burdensome for the vast majority of heating installers who will struggle to provide the necessary administration support to operate the required quality management system.

“Thirdly, the scheme is due to finish in March 2021 meaning there is a very small window of opportunity for installers and so the work required to obtain the necessary accreditation may well not be worth it for them.

“Fourthly, it appears that homeowners who use the grant won’t be eligible to claim the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) support which over the long-term may provide greater financial support for renewable technology installation.   

“Ultimately, the Green Homes Grant Scheme offers very little for the average plumbing and heating installer and I fear it will be another Green Deal type failure and will play a very small part in helping the UK meet its 2050 carbon neutral target and, perhaps of equal importance, it will do very little to secure the employment growth in relation to the plumbing and heating industry that is so needed following the pandemic.”

The government announced further details on its new £2 billion Green Homes Grant, due to go live at the end of September, earlier this week.

It confirmed homeowners will be able to spend vouchers with installers who are accredited to the PAS2030 or Microgeneration Certification Scheme for solid wall, under-floor, cavity wall or roof insulation, air source or ground source heat pumps, solar thermal. Further, secondary, energy saving measures can include double or triple glazing/secondary glazing, upgrading to energy efficient doors, plus hot water tank/appliance tank thermostats and heating controls.

The government said the measures could help homeowners save up to £600 a year on their energy bills.