Advice for homeowners

Harry

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Harry works for a FENSA Approved installation company. He's on a mission to help professionalise installers and protect homeowners across the UK, so he started this advice column.

Green Homes Grant Scheme explained for windows and doors

Thinking about having older windows or doors in your home replaced with more modern, energy efficient products? You’re not alone! For many homeowners this is an excellent way to help improve their home’s comfort and energy performance, and to potentially reduce their energy bills.

 

Just remember when choosing an installer to check you’ll get a FENSA certificate when the job’s done. Or even easier, start your search by finding a local FENSA Approved Installer.

 

Now there’s a new government initiative designed to help homeowners in England meet the cost of energy efficiency-boosting home improvements. Let’s take a closer look at the Green Homes Grant Scheme and whether it could help you meet the cost of upgrading your window or doors.

 

What is the Green Homes Grant Scheme?

The Green Homes Grant Scheme is a government-funded voucher scheme to help homeowners in England meet the cost of home improvements that improve the energy performance of their homes.

 

Under the scheme, homeowners can apply for a voucher that funds up to two-thirds of the cost of hiring tradespeople to upgrade the energy performance of their homes up to a maximum contribution of £5,000. Low income and vulnerable households will be eligible for a voucher covering up to 100% of the cost of similar home improvements, up to £10,000.

 

Who is eligible for a Green Homes Grant?

You’re probably wondering if you qualify for assistance under the Green Homes Grant Scheme. Provided you’re in England and are planning to have work carried out on your home that is covered by the scheme (see below), here’s a look at the eligibility requirements.

 

The main scheme is open to owner/occupiers (freehold or leasehold) and landlords who rent privately or through the social sector. The low income and vulnerable part of the scheme is open to owner-occupied households and park-home owners.

 

If any of those describes you, congratulations - you’re eligible to apply for a voucher to assist with the cost of energy efficiency measures covered by the scheme.

The scheme is not open to non-domestic properties or new build homes.

 

When does the Green Homes Grant scheme start?

The scheme starts at the end of September 2020 and runs until the end of March, 2021 – six months in total.

 

What home improvements are covered under the Green Homes Grant Scheme?

The scheme is split into ‘primary measures’ and ‘secondary measures’. Basically, to get assistance under the scheme you need to be having at least one ‘primary measure’ carried out on your property. Primary measures include:

 

- Insulation: Solid wall, cavity wall, under-floor, loft, flat roof, room in roof, park home.

- Low carbon heat: Air source heat pump, ground source heat pump, solar thermal

 

As long as you’re having a ‘primary measure’ installed as part of a package of works, you can additionally apply for assistance for a number of ‘secondary measures’. Secondary measures include:

 

- Draught proofing

- Windows and doors: Double/triple glazing (where replacing single glazing), secondary glazing (in addition to single glazing), upgrading to energy efficient doors (where replacing doors installed prior to 2002).

- Heating controls and insulation: appliance thermostats, hot water tank thermostats,
hot water tank insulation, smart heating controls, zone controls, delayed start
thermostat, thermostatic radiator valves

 

Secondary measures can only be subsidised up to the amount of subsidy provided for associated ‘primary measures’. For example, if you receive £1,000 towards a primary measure such as loft insulation, you’ll only be able to receive a maximum of £1,000 towards replacing single glazed windows with double or triple glazed windows (a secondary measure).

 

Can I use Green Homes Grant voucher to pay for replacing my windows or doors?

As long as you are eligible for the scheme and are having at least one of the ‘primary measures’ installed, you may be able to use Green Homes Grant to fund window or door work as a ‘secondary measure’ if it involves:

- upgrading from single glazing to double, triple or secondary glazing

- installing energy efficient doors where you are replacing doors installed prior to 2002

 

The Green Homes Grant Scheme doesn’t cover replacement double glazing.

 

Can I use a Green Homes Grant voucher to pay a FENSA Approved Installer?

You may be able to if the work is covered under the scheme and your FENSA Approved Installer is also a TrustMark Registered Business. If you’re unsure, simply ask them.

 

Still have questions?

To discuss the home improvements you’ve got planned, we recommend getting in touch with a local FENSA Approved Installer.

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What to check before appointing an installer

Check that you use a FENSA Approved Installer but also check the following:

  • Ask family and friends who have used installers about their satisfaction and whether they got a FENSA certificate.
  • Check the installer's references by talking to their previous customers.
  • Get at least three quotes and check you are being quoted like for like.
  • Cheapest is not always best and good contractors are always in demand.
  • Get quotes, timeframes and the fact that you will get a FENSA certificate all in writing. A proper written contract with an agreed completion date will help prevent confusion later on
  • Check the warranty on the installer's work and ensure they have enough insurance to cover their warranty. Domestic glazing installers that are registered with a competent person scheme like FENSA are legally obliged to provide warranty insurance to cover your installation should the company cease to trade within the life of the warranty.
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