Green Homes Grant End: A Missed Opportunity

green homes grant missed opportunity

Green Homes Grant a Missed OpportunityFrom short-term planning to not utilising British talent, the Green Homes Grant was a missed opportunity, says Ben Dyer, CEO of Powered Now, a management software company with a client base of 2000 construction SMEs and sole traders. He discusses where the scheme went wrong, and what future iterations should include to ensure success

FROM TOMORROW, the Green Homes Grant in England will be scrapped, due to a lack of participation and sign up.

Heralded as an opportunity to revolutionise Britain’s homes in the fight against climate change, just 10% of 600,000 eligible homes have signed up for the scheme. The £300 million scheme was introduced in September 2020 to offer £10,000 to homeowners looking to upgrade inefficient boilers, improve insulation and other energy efficiency measures, will now be reallocated to councils and local authorities.

With 19 million homes in the UK still in need of an environmental upgrade, the administration of the campaign has drawn significant criticism, ranging from the outsourcing of logistics to American-based companies to the inability to source local tradespeople for installations.

“If green homes are top of the agenda for battling climate change and reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050, what hope have we if the scheme ends 28 years before that date?”

Green Homes Grant Destined to Fail

With green homes top of the Government’s agenda to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050, the Green Homes Grant was destined for failure from the outset.

During the Green Homes Grant, we were regularly hearing from or clients a tale of two stories; they were either inundated with jobs, or had zero pick up. Customers of the scheme as well have echoed these sentiments, and have also stated that there were installers in the market who weren’t playing by the rules.

By outsourcing the logistics of the scheme to American-based businesses, the Government was neglecting the resources that we have on our front doorstep. The Government should have worked with commercial schemes to determine who the trusted suppliers in the UK were. In this country we have a wealth of trusted comparison sites for tradespeople, and getting any of them on board to help with the administration would have led to everyone being a winner.

Simplicity

The other issue was that the Government did not approach this with the simplicity they did for schemes such as furlough. Simplicity, frankly, should have been the watchword for the entire scheme. But with varying definitions of what people could apply for, and ambiguities of what bad players in the market were charging customers, this was often lost in translation. If schemes are not straightforward, people won’t use it.

The scheme also suffered from a case of being far too short term in its outlook. While the grant was further extended so that it would expire by March 2022, in reality, if green homes are top of the agenda for battling climate change and reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050, what hope have we if the scheme ends 28 years before that date?”

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