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Green Homes Grant – FAQs for Contractors

Air Source Heat Pumps, Ground/Water Source Heat Pumps, Solar Thermal (liquid-filled flat plate or evacuated tube collectors) and Biomass Boilers are all classed as primary measures covered by the scheme. To qualify for the voucher, the installation must be undertaken by an MCS certified Contractor using MCS certified products. They must also be TrustMark registered.

No, Solar PV is not covered under the grant. This was a government decision with a focus on heat and the energy efficiency of buildings.

No, the Green Homes Grant is only eligible for homes in England.

It does not apply to Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. However, an MCS certified Contractor could for example, be based in Scotland but work in properties in England to participate in the scheme.

 

Yes, Contractors will need to be both MCS certified and TrustMark registered to install low carbon heating measures. This is a requirement from the government.

It is a quick and simple process to become TrustMark registered. This can be done via a TrustMark scheme provider – this could be your Consumer Code or Certification Body. A full list of providers offering this can be found here.

Yes, all Contractors are listed on the Simple Energy Advice (SEA) website. This is the website that the government are signposting consumers to in order to research the energy efficiency measures and to find a Contractor to obtain quotes from.

You can visit the SEA website here.

The voucher of up to £5,000 (general scheme) will cover a maximum two thirds of the cost of some energy-saving home improvements. Some homeowners on qualifying benefits can get a voucher covering the total cost of these home improvements, up to £10,000 (low-income scheme).

In terms of eligibility for the £10,000 voucher under the low-income scheme, there is a list of qualifying benefits in this document.

Your customer will need to check if they are eligible for a voucher. They can do this here.

Consumers can apply for a Green Homes Grant voucher from 30 September 2020 through this centralised portal.

Before applying for a voucher, the government advises that consumers use the Simple Energy Advice (SEA) website to check that they are eligible for a voucher (and for how much) and to see what energy efficiency improvements may be suitable for their home and an estimate of how much they might cost.

They can then search the database to find an accredited tradesperson to undertaken their chosen improvement(s). They are being advised to obtain at least three quotes to make sure they are getting the best value for money but can choose which quotation to go with.

Once the consumer has applied for their voucher, they can expect to receive it from early November. Only then can they arrange for the work to be carried out.

Once the consumer has applied for their voucher, they need to then input the details of their Contractor and arrange for the work to be carried out.

The Contractor completes the work, commissions the system and raises the MCS certificate. They then use their MCS certificate to lodge the work with TrustMark.

Once this is done the consumer redeems the voucher to trigger payment directly to the Contractor.

The government will redeem the voucher through a central portal. You will need to input your company and bank details into this portal.

The government has advised that after the work has been completed, most Contractors will get the grant payment within 5 working days.

You must make sure the work is scheduled to be completed, and the voucher redeemed subject to its terms and conditions, by 31 March 2021.

For the general scheme, the following properties are eligible:

  • All owner-occupied homes (including long-leaseholders, shared ownership)
  • Landlords of private rented sector domestic properties
  • Landlords of social sector domestic properties (including Local Authority owned homes)
  • Park homeowners (for residential sites including Gypsy and Traveller sites)

For the low-income scheme, only owner-occupied properties and park homes are eligible.

A consumer cannot apply for the scheme if you they already received a grant from their local authority as part of the Local Authority Delivery Scheme.

No, new build properties do not qualify.

Yes, consumers can claim both the Domestic RHI and the Green Homes Grant for their MCS certified renewable heat installation. Consumers must claim the Green Homes Grant first and then notify Ofgem that they have used it when they apply for the Domestic RHI.

The Green Homes Grant will then be deducted from their Domestic RHI payments with payments being amortised at the reduced cost over 7 years.

The government are signposting consumers to the Simple Energy Advice (SEA) website and are expecting this to be an important part of the consumer journey. However, it is NOT a requirement. Consumers are not obligated to use their recommendations and can get advice from other sources.

We have identified that the prices quoted aren’t a true reflection of current market prices for installations. We have raised this as an issue with both SEA and the government and we are working hard to get this changed to be more accurate, or to demonstrate that it is just an estimate.

In order to install the low carbon heating measures, a Contractor must be MCS certified and TrustMark registered. We will be closely monitoring the registered installations under the Scheme and have already increased capacity in our compliance and enforcement team.

We will be working closely with our Certification Bodies and Consumer Codes and will swiftly remove any Contractors from our Scheme that are deemed to be non-compliant with our Standards.

Please let us know. You can do this confidentially if you wish. You can call our Helpdesk Team on 0333 103 8130, or email mcshelpdesk@mcscertified.com

Once we are aware, our Compliance and Enforcement Team can launch an investigation.

Due to the short timescales that the Green Homes Grant is expected to run for (Sept 2020 – March 2021) we would advise against becoming certified solely for this purpose.

If you have a longer-term plan to move into installing renewables, we would welcome your application. You can expect it to take approximately 3 months to become certified and you can find out more about the process and requirements here. Alternatively, contact our Helpdesk Team on 0333 103 8130 who would be more than happy to talk you through it.