The Heat Pump Association said it is disappointed that 95% of the funding provided for the Green Homes Grant scheme looks unlikely to be rolled over into the next financial year.
The much-needed funding was to be used to improve the energy performance of homes across England through low carbon heat and energy efficiency measures, it said. However, despite high demand from households, less than 5% of the vouchers have been used due to issues with the scheme’s administration.
The Green Homes Grant was launched to kickstart a green recovery in September last year and was thought to create thousands of green jobs. The Heat Pump Association said it has been working hard to train installers so that they are able to meet the high demand of the scheme, with many installers already at full capacity.
The HPA is concerned that the decision to roll back funding will discourage heating installers from training or upskilling so they can install technologies like heat pumps, at a time when the industry needs to prepare for net zero. The government’s target of 600,000 heat pumps per year could fail without a significant boost in installer numbers over the next decade.
Phil Hurley, chair of the Heat Pump Association, said: “The Heat Pump Association is disappointed to see that unspent funding for the Green Homes Grant looks unlikely to be rolled over despite significant delays caused by the scheme’s administration rather than demand. This rollover would have demonstrated the government’s commitment to improving UK homes through energy efficiency and low carbon heat and given the industry the time and confidence it needs to deliver the green recovery.”
Adrienne Minster, CEO of Rated People added this week: “The Green Homes Grant has been hugely successful in motivating homeowners to make green renovations to their homes, with demand for improvements covered under the scheme soaring year on year. However, there have clearly been issues with grants being approved and payments being made for the work, and it is disappointing to learn that a large part of funding is now being withdrawn. The Green Homes Grant can play an important role in the government’s pledge for a post-coronavirus green recovery and we would urge them to re-think this decision and look into ways to solve the operational challenges, so that the scheme can end up becoming a real success.”