Chancellor Rishi Sunak is set to launch a £2 billion scheme to help homeowners make their homes more energy efficient. From September, homeowners will be able to apply online for grants that will cover energy saving improvement projects.
Loft, wall and floor insulation will be covered, as well as double glazing, and the government grant will cover up to two-thirds of the cost of the work.
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The idea behind the grant scheme is both to help households struggling to pay energy bills in the wake of coronavirus, and to reduce carbon emissions as part of the government's 'green investment' package. The scheme is also aimed at stimulating jobs in the building sector.
In an interview with BBC Breakfast, Business Secretary Alok Sharma said that the poorest UK households will be able to apply during the first year of the scheme and won't have to pay anything at all towards the total cost of the home improvement project needed to make their home more energy efficient. Sharma commented:
'What [the scheme] ultimately means is lower bills for households, hundreds of pounds off energy bills every year, it's supporting jobs and is very good news for the environment.'
It's also understood that some of those in greatest need will be able to apply for as much as £10,000 under the scheme, although it isn't quite clear how these priority applicants will be identified. Concerns have also already been raised about the scheme's exclusive focus on homeowners. In a similar way to the mortgage holiday scheme that gave housing cost respite to home owners but not renters.
The details of the scheme are to be announced on Wednesday, and it will be interesting to see whether landlords (and tenants) will be able to benefit from the scheme.