Elmhurst responds to closure of the Green Homes Grant Voucher scheme
Earlier this week the government announced that it would be scrapping the Green Homes Grant Voucher scheme just over six months after the scheme was launched as part of the Prime Minister’s aim to ‘build back greener’.
The scheme was originally extended until the March 2022, however, the slow implementation of the scheme left many installers and builders in limbo with applications taking too long to approve and delays to grant payments.
How will this news effect those trained through the Green Homes Grant skills training competition?
Over the last few months, Elmhurst has been involved in the Green Homes Grant skills training competition, which has provided government funded training and accreditation opportunities, for those eager to obtain the relevant skills, knowledge and approval in domestic energy assessment and whole house retrofit. Those trained through this competition should not be too concerned by the recent news however, as Elmhurst’s Managing Director, Martyn Reed explains below:
“Through the government’s Green Homes Grant skills training competition (launched in December 2020), Elmhurst has been providing more opportunities for professionals to upskill and enter into new whole house retrofit roles.
“It’s hard to provide reassurance in the wake of stop-start policies, but we do believe that the effort taken by individuals to train in this area is not wasted. The role of the Retrofit Assessor and Retrofit Coordinator was never required for the delivery of the Green Homes Grant voucher scheme and there is still no doubt that their skills will be in high demand in the future. This is demonstrated by the Energy Company Obligation ECO3, which in July will be adopting new PAS Standards (PAS 2035 and PAS 2030) which will require work to be over seen by TrustMark-registered businesses.
Elmhurst’s Response to the closure of the Green Homes Grant voucher scheme
“Of course, that demand could be increased and more quickly delivered via a Government-backed scheme, and one with long-term commitment and security such as the national retrofit programme proposed by the Construction Leadership Council. We called for this in our Manifesto almost a year ago. We urgently need to rebuild confidence in a strong market for retrofit and make good use of those who have worked so hard to get qualified to deliver measures in accordance with PAS 2035.
“The Green Homes Grant Voucher Scheme had been the only assistance that homeowners were given to improve their homes since the ill-fated Green Deal and now there is nothing. The scheme may not have been perfect but it was a significant amount of money, simple to apply for and, had the processes been given half a chance to bed down, would have succeeded.
“The energy efficiency industry continues to be blighted by short-term policies meaning that energy assessors and installers are reluctant to invest because they believe that as soon as they are in a position to deliver, the policy will have changed, and they will be left with little to show for their efforts, and I must say this has been demonstrated once again.”