Consumers Cautioned as Green Homes Grant Launches

MCS, the national standards organisation for renewables, has today welcomed the launch of the government’s Green Homes Grant scheme but warns consumers need to make informed choices when spending their voucher.

The warning from MCS CEO, Ian Rippin, comes amidst growing messages that there are only a limited number of vouchers available and that demand for them is set to outstrip supply.

Ian said: “These types of messages stimulate an unnecessary sense of urgency. The government has set aside a pot of £2 billion for this initiative, with a large proportion for domestic properties. There might be a short window to spend it in, but consumers shouldn’t worry about getting their hands on a voucher. It is more important that they take their time to review the measures available and seek informed advice from a competent, qualified installer.”

Currently, the Green Homes Grant is expected to run for six months from September 2020 to March 2021. Homeowners are to be given vouchers of up to £5,000 to spend on energy-saving home improvements, with low-income households eligible for vouchers of up to £10,000.

As the UK’s only recognised standard for small-scale renewables, MCS is included under the Green Homes Grant for the installation of heat pumps, biomass and solar thermal.

Consumers must use MCS certified contractors to make those renewable energy improvements to their homes. For installations to be eligible, contractors must also be registered with Trustmark, the government-endorsed scheme for tradespeople.

Ian expressed the importance of checking the credentials of installers to ensure quality: “If a consumer chooses a low carbon heating measure under the grant, they must check that their installer is MCS certified. These are complex technologies that require an installer with expertise and specialist skills – MCS is the mark of quality that shows an installer works to high industry standards.”

A recent survey by MCS revealed that almost half of its certified contractors believe that the Green Homes Grant should be extended to 18 months or more.

More information on the Green Homes Grant is available here