Chancellor called on to continue Green Homes Grant to not 'derail green recovery'

Chancellor called on to continue Green Homes Grant to not ‘derail green recovery’

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has been called on to continue the Green Homes Grant ahead of next week’s Budget. Image: HM Treasury

Further calls have come in ahead of next week’s Budget for the Chancellor to not curtail the Green Homes Grant scheme.

This latest letter has been signed by 19 organisations representing or working within the energy efficiency and low carbon heat sector, including Solar Energy UK, the Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE), the National Insulation Association, the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) and the Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA).

It stated that premature closure of the Green Homes Grant Scheme would “put jobs in jeopardy, dash the dreams of homeowners and put the UK’s net zero target at significant risk”. This follows reports that the scheme – which is designed to provide vouchers for green home technologies such as solar thermal, heat pumps and solar PV in the Local Authority allocation – is to close early in March 2021.

The letter details how the scheme has “proved incredibly popular with the public”, with pent up demand to improve homes, reduce energy costs and contribute to tackling climate change being unlocked.

It added that industry, the civil service and the administrator – being American firm ICF – have “worked collaboratively to iron out the teething problems within the scheme”, which it said was designed and implemented within a record timeframe. The scheme has run into a number of problems, including delays in installers being paid and members of the public waiting months to be issued vouchers.

“We the undersigned organisations, call on the government to provide assurance to the supply chain and public that the Green Homes Grant scheme will continue and remain the positive springboard for the significant escalation required to meet the government’s future scheme ambitions,” the letter continues.

Derek Horrocks, chairman of the National Insulation Association, said: “Stable policy is needed to provide the industry with the confidence it needs to invest and adapt to the demands of the net-zero transition. Enquiries for insulation and low carbon heating have been extremely high, in spite of the current circumstances, and companies across the sector have responded and geared up the supply chain to meet demand.

“That’s why we would urge the chancellor not to curtail the Green Homes Grant to ensure that our sector can lead the UK’s economic recovery and meet the government’s net zero ambitions.”

This letter follows similar ones sent by the Energy Efficiency Infrastructure Group (EEIG), a coalition of industry groups, NGOs, charities and businesss, as well as one penned by 11 NGOs and thinktanks including Greenpeace UK and Friends of the Earth that called on the Chancellor and Prime Minister to improve the scheme over cutting the funding available for it.

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