The Government has pulled the plug on its Green Homes Grant energy efficiency scheme, just days after MPs slammed it as ‘woefully inadequate’.
First announced last summer, the GHG scheme was extended in November for another year until the end of March 2022. It was supposed to form part of the Government’s plans to help rebuild the economy better and ‘greener’, yet it reached just 10% of the 600,000 homes it was aimed at.
The £300m will now be allocated to a separate insulation programme run by local authorities and aimed at lower income households.
Some 19 million homes in the UK still need to be insulated or the emissions from gas boilers will wreck the UK’s chances of achieving its climate change targets.
Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: ‘The misguided scrapping of the Green Homes Grant scheme sends entirely the wrong message to consumers and builders, and will harm the UK’s desire to be seen as a global leader in tackling climate change. Flaws with the scheme should have been addressed, in consultation with industry, with a commitment to training. Instead, we have another example of a stop-go green initiative that undermines, rather than creates, certainly for both the public and installers. The Government needs to be more ambitious in its thinking and set out a long-term plan to upgrade our existing homes to make them greener and more energy efficient. A national retrofit strategy would address this need and allow the Government to be taken seriously as well as regain the trust of industry.’
Berry concluded: ‘Small, local builders who have spent thousands of pounds becoming eligible for work under the scheme rightly feel let down and angry. Without these workers on the Government’s side, we will fail to retrofit our 28 million existing homes, missing the opportunities for green growth, new jobs, and to level up.’
Matthew Pennycook, the shadow minister for climate change, said: “Ministers might talk a good game on energy efficiency but their staggering ineptitude when it comes to decarbonising the country’s housing stock speaks for itself”.